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Coalition of Organizations Encourages Continued Support for Richmond Riverfront Plan

Andy Thompson

March 17, 2016 11:18am
A coalition of Richmond-based organizations has formed to urge Richmond City Council to appropriate an additional $1.8 million in the City of Richmond FY 2017 Capital Improvements Program for continued implementation of the Richmond Riverfront Plan.
The old Vepco Levy bridge, with the break near the Brown's Island side, is currently being replaced.

The old Vepco Levy bridge, with the break near the Brown’s Island side, is currently being replaced.

Additional funding will complement $1 million already appropriated for the riverfront bringing total funding for Riverfront Plan implementation to a total of $2.8 million. These funds should be used to complete all phases of the T. Tyler Potterfield Memorial Bridge, which includes a universally accessible pathway on the south bank of the James River that allows individuals with disabilities, pedestrians, and people on bicycles to easily access destinations in the Manchester neighborhood. The remainder of the funding should be used downriver to improve Intermediate Terminal and the surrounding area.

“We appreciate the effort Mayor Jones, Richmond City Council, and City of Richmond staff members have put into implementing the Richmond Riverfront Plan since its adoption in 2012,” said Bill Street, Chief Executive Officer for the James River Association. “Additionally, we applaud the City’s initial investment in the implementation of this plan. We have come a long way and must continue to support implementation through a sufficient appropriation in the FY 2017 Capital Improvements Program. Completing all phases of the Potterfield Bridge, including the critical connection to the revitalizing Manchester neighborhood, as well as proposed improvements to the downriver section of the riverfront is of the utmost importance.”
This pic by Richmond.com's Phil Riggan shows the progress on the new bridge near the south side.

This pic by Richmond.com’s Phil Riggan shows the progress on the new bridge near the south side.

The successful implementation of the Richmond Riverfront Plan is vital to Richmond’s future and will increase the opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to enjoy the James River. By transforming underutilized public spaces, the City of Richmond can tap into the full potential for economic development and improved quality of life for Richmonders and visitors alike. The Riverfront Plan was adopted after an extensive planning process led by Hargreaves Associates involving hundreds of citizens and stakeholders. The James River is an integral part of the City of Richmond, and accordingly it is now critical for Richmond City Council to allocate sufficient funding to implement the Riverfront Plan.

Stakeholders who have signed on to a letter urging Richmond City Council to allocate an additional $1.8 million to the riverfront include the James River Association, Sports Backers, Storefront for Community Design, The Trust for Public Land, James River Outdoor Coalition, Sadler & Whitehead Architects PLC, Partnership for Smarter Growth, and Friends of the James River Park.
Richmond residents and organizations can show their support for continued investment in the Richmond Riverfront Plan by signing an online petition found at this link: http://bitly.com/TPottFunding 

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?