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Posted In: James River

State allocates funds for RVA riverfront bridge project

Andy Thompson

June 18, 2014 10:34pm
Screen Shot 2014-06-18 at 10.31.23 PM

A screen shot from our 360-degree tour of the current bridge. The proposed structure would be built on top of the same pilings.

The Time-Dispatch’s Graham Moomaw broke some big news on the T-D website earlier today, reporting that the Commonwealth Transportation Board allocated $2.5 million in state funding Wednesday for the city’s downtown Riverfront Plan. The money will go toward the first phase of the plan — funding the proposed Brown’s Island Dam Walk.

The city already has $7 million available  for the plan, and these funds will supplement that. The city has yet to actually say how much the BIDW would cost, though early estimates suggested it was somewhere around $8 million. As Moomaw reported, the state allocation boosts the likelihood that the bridge will be completed in time for the 2015 International Cycling Union Road World Championships.

In talking with city employees and others familiar with the bridge, I heard time and again the worry that with funds tight, city planners could propose building the walkway, but not connecting it to the trails on the south bank of the James near the Manchester Climbing Wall — at least not right away.

With more in the coffers, Olinger told the T-D, the city can go “full bore” on both elements. “We’re just going to kind of get it all done at once,” he said.

This is very good news for river lovers. I mean, take a look at this. How can you look at those views and not drool a little over how cool this bridge could be?

About Andy Thompson

I was the Outdoors Columnist at the Times-Dispatch from 2007 to 2013, writing twice a week about mountain biking, fishing, hunting, paddling and much more. I live a 1/4 mile from the James River, close enough to see bald eagles soaring over my house on their way to find a meal. Pretty cool, eh?