RICHMOND, Va. -- City and community leaders officially opened a two-block stretch of Franklin Street in Shockoe Bottom that they hope will encourage more people to visit the neighborhood.
After nearly a year of work, a 1.8-million-dollar reconstruction of two blocks of Franklin Street between 18th and Ambler in Shockoe Bottom is officially ready for use. Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney said advocates for the neighborhood have been calling for it for decades.
"This improved street connects the 17th Street Market to the Virginia Capital Trail through 17th Street to Main Street Station and to the Shockoe Bottom commercial area as well," Stoney explained.
David Napier, president of the Shockoe Bottom Neighborhood Association, said the project was a long time coming.
"It’s a game-changer... Patience is what we have and we have a much better neighborhood now," Napier said.
Chad Painter, owner of Wonderland on Main Street, said he hopes it addresses long-standing issues in Shockoe: traffic flow and parking.
"And from what it looks like here they’ve opened up some lanes on both sides, two-way traffic. You also have bike traffic now. So, hopefully that will re-energize somewhat because lord knows we need everything we can right now," Painter said.