Neighbors split on Tuckahoe Creek boardwalk

Posted at 5:39 PM, Jun 05, 2013
and last updated 2013-06-05 19:31:31-04

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) -- Scott Shortt must hit the pavement during his daily strolls, but this West Ender may have another option soon.

"Getting a little exercise in. Doing some walking,” says Shortt. "Oh, Wow! That would be very interesting. I would definitely enjoy that."

The county is proposing to build a two-mile long walkway on county owned land from Patterson Avenue near Old Coach Lane to Ridgefield Parkway. The  Tuckahoe Creek Park Boardwalk bordering Goochland is not a new idea. It's been in the works since 1989.

New mother Lindsay Robjent says while there may be more pressing needs in the county to spend taxpayer money on she says the park will be a welcome addition.

"We've been here since December of last year. I think it is great,” says Robjent. “We live less than half a block from where I live so I will be using that path a lot."

The proposed boardwalk would be built in phases along Tuckahoe Creek. The wooden structure would be 8-10 feet wide and would be elevated to minimize the impact on the natural habitat.

Annabelle Wrayton lives just steps from the future entrance of the park.

"It is going to be ruined. It’s a shame,” says Wrayton. "My main concern is the wildlife in the creek."

She isn't thrilled about the prospect of sharing her quiet neighborhood. A place she's called home for decades.

"Not pleased at all. My neighbor said he'd lay down in front of the bulldozers and lay down in front of them,” says Wrayton.

Pat O'Bannon represents the Tuckahoe District on the Board of Supervisors.

"This will be a nice amenity for the people of Tuckahoe Village," says O’Bannon. “The citizens voted twice to have this as parkland in the county."

O'Bannon says a little more than $300,000 is set aside for the project and that waiting will only drive the price up.

"Even in the 60s and 70s the developer of that land set aside this land and called it parkland,” says Shortt.

Back along his paved exercise path, Shortt is dreaming of the day he can share his walk with animals and not automobiles.

“I spoke with my wife about it and my initial reaction was cool,” says Shortt. "I think anytime you get a chance to walk outside and enjoy nature I think that would be a great idea."

Henrico County will be holding a public meeting on the proposed Tuckahoe Creek Park Boardwalk on Wednesday, June 12 at 7 p.m. at Carver Elementary School.