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Richmond Riverfront Plan moves forward with Lehigh silo demolition

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Posted at 5:37 PM, Aug 12, 2015
and last updated 2015-08-12 17:37:38-04

RICHMOND, Va. –The Richmond Riverfront Plan continues to move forward, and Wednesday the mayor highlighted several projects.

The plan intends to create a cohesive system out of the miles of waterfront on both banks and to provide enhanced recreational opportunities. Access to the river has been reframed in the interest of pedestrians, bicyclists, and individuals.

The 5.5 acre Low Line will beautify the area between the Capital Trail and CSX’s rail trestle.

The 5.5 acre Low Line will beautify the area between the Capital Trail and CSX’s rail trestle.

Several Phase 1 projects are nearing completion, with investment from the city, local business, and grant money.

Wednesday the long-anticipated demolition of the Lehigh Cement silos took place. Their removal will create space along the 1.5-acre property for a new public riverfront park, and make room for the Capital Trail.

The Riverfront Plan was adopted in 2012 and the Jones Administration provided initial funding in the Fiscal Year 2013 Capital Improvements budget.

Jones noted significant progress and said it is an exciting time for the city.

A rendering of the future Low-Line project.

A rendering of the future Low-Line project.

Along with removal of the silos, plans have been announced for Port of Richmond improvements, the Low-Line project with CSX and Capital Tress is underway, improvements are being made to the Intermediate Terminal structure, final plans have been approved and the work has begun on the Tyler Potterfield Memorial Bridge and the Richmond portion of the Virginia Capital Trail will be completed by the end of August.

The removal of the silos was a key component to finish the trail, ahead of world cycling championships that land here in September.

A rendering of the future Low-Line project.

A look at the Low-Line project, from the river. 

Investment in the Richmond portion of the Virginia Capital Trail totals $4 million, according to the mayor’s office. The city has contributed $820,000 of that cost.

The city also invested $200,000 in the Low-Line project, while CSX and Capital Trees are providing the rest of the funding.

The 5.5 acre Low Line will beautify the area between the Capital Trail and CSX’s rail trestle. In addition to weed removal, crews are now planting native trees, shrubs and perennials. The Low Line will also host educational signage and include space for public art.

Terminal Dock investments over two years amount to $2.9 million and the Lehigh Silos demolition is expected to cost $740,000. The City has approximately $10 million available for Phase 1 Riverfront projects, which includes the T. Tyler Potterfield Memorial Bridge work.