VA Capital Trail construction begins

By Rachel DePompa - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Nestled under the dark trestles along Richmond's Dock Street is a place Champe Burnley can't wait to see come to life.

"Richmond has a great cycling community. A lot of folks in town and a lot of folks are very excited about having a new hometown trail," said Champe Burnley, Richmond Area Bicycling Association President.

Richmond has started work on its one and half mile section of the Virginia Capital Trail. A pedestrian friendly 55 mile long path that will eventually connect Richmond's water front to Jamestown and Williamsburg.

"There's going to be benches there's going to be landscaping. There may be a park built at some point.  It's just going to be a lot for people to do and to see. It's going to be an attraction for people who come down this way," said Richmond Public Works Spokesperson Sharon North.

Richmond's section starts at 17 and Dock Street behind the flood wall and will eventually go all the way to the Henrico County line.

"It's not just paving a trail. It's going to be a 12 foot wide asphalt which  means it's good for cyclists and people can ride and walk at the same time," said North.

There will be lights and benches, even bike racks. Eight miles have already been finished in James City County. Charles City County opened another seven miles stretch this week.

"We got support from Dominion for an electronic kiosk system which will let you plan your trip on the trail. Whether it's historic sites you want to see, where to get a cold drink, (or) where the restrooms are," said Beth Weisbrod of VA Capital Trail Foundation.

There are more than 750 active cyclists in Champe Burnley's biking association. He believes this trail could turn into an economic development tool for the city.

"There's another interstate bike route that goes through Richmond and people literally from around the world travel through this. We think this is a great way to bring them into Richmond," said Burnley.

The entire trail is expected to be finished and open to pedestrians and cyclists in three years.

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