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Richmond riverfront on verge of transformation?

April 30, 2012 · 0 minute read

Sunday’s Times-Dispatch featured a number of columns on the James River and its future in Richmond. The mayor’s piece is particularly exciting because it doesn’t just dwell on broad concepts and generalities. He cites “transformative” specific projects that could be tackled in the near term: the Brown’s Island Dam Walk, the Missing Link Trail, Brown’s Island terraces, the acquisition of Mayo Island, and Chapel Island development.

After all this talk of riverfront development and improvement over the past few years, the time for action is here. It was refreshing to read that the mayor agrees and is willing to put city money toward starting the process. “But we have to begin,” he writes,” and to that end I have included $5 million in the 2013 and 2-14 capital budget to begin [the riverfront development plan’s] implementation.”

It’s a good start. We’ll see what happens when the administration officially unveils the riverfront plan in the coming weeks. But river lovers should be heartened that the powers that be seem to finally recognize what many of us long known about the James and what it means to the city.