Major Changes to Some Neighborhoods in Southeast Roanoke - FOX 21/27 WFXR Roanoke/WWCW Lynchburg News, Weather

Major Changes to Some Neighborhoods in Southeast Roanoke

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Over the past few months, neighbors have watched more than 25 properties be demolished for VDOT's 13th Street and Hollins Road Improvement Project.

"It's going to be a whole lot better when they finish," Timmy West says.

West watches one of the demolitions from his home across the street. He says he's happy it'll help with problems he sees every day.

"I've seen a lot of wrecks and almost wrecks and people getting hit by cars and congestion and stuff," West says.

VDOT hopes to eliminate the traffic by using the new space to widen roads and build two roundabouts and a bridge.

Some neighbors are sad to see so many properties go.

"These houses have been here for a long time around the neighborhood," Trinidad Reyes says. "Seeing the community torn down, that's hurtful for some people because we've lived here all our lives."

Reyes grew up in the neighborhood and isn't sure the roundabout is a good idea.

"Early in the morning it's busy, and in the afternoon it's busy," Reyes says. "I think they should do something, but I don't think a roundabout is the right decision for this part."

Funding for the $56.6 million project hasn't completely come through. The project still needs $22.9 million.

The last property will be demolished next week. It's the old Papa Joe's building, which has a lot of history, including being a strip club at one time. VDOT hopes to start construction in 2014.