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Richmond updates plan for what used to be Lee circle

Posted at 6:41 PM, May 03, 2023

RICHMOND, Va. -- The long-awaited and oft-discussed landscaping set to fill the circle where a 60-foot statue of General Robert E. Lee once stood along Monument Avenue in Richmond will be installed over the summer. The project beings next week, according to the Richmond Department of Public Works.

The Lee statue was removed in 2021 after the circle became the epicenter of social justice protests in Richmond following the 2020 murder of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis.

Robert E. Lee Monument Sunday, June 7, 2020
People gather at the Robert E. Lee Monument, now covered by protest graffiti, in Richmond, Va., Sunday, June 7, 2020.

Since then, jersey walls that were tagged with artwork by protestors have been painted over, and a fence installed by the state still encircles the area, preventing access.

The new design calls for trees and other plantings.

City planners said in 2022 the landscaping design would be temporary until the city undergoes the public process of "Reimagining Monument Avenue," but leaders have admitted it could be years before that process begins.

Design of landscaping at Lee circle

DPW officials said the landscaping and irrigation work required was scheduled to take place in May and June.

Planting and removal of the jersey wall/fencing will happen in July and August.

From May 10 to July 7, the southbound lanes of Allen Avenue (within the roundabout) will be temporarily closed, DPW said.

This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can email newstips@wtvr.com to send a tip.

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