James River gets one of a kind access ramp - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

James River gets one of a kind access ramp

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -  Volunteers are putting in a huge addition to the James River. It's one that will affect many people who enjoy the outdoors in the city. It's also the first of its kind in Richmond.

Dominion Power and the James River Park crews are hard at work at Reedy Creek Park, laying a foundation for a boat access. It will make life a lot easier for disabled kayakers like Sally Wetzler.  

"It's going to be much easier than having to hop chairs up and down the ramp or down on my back side, said Wetzler."

The brand new ramp will extend from the top of the bank to the river with a flat staging area for equipment. The moderate slope will help accommodate people in wheelchairs and with walking canes. It's the first of it's kind in the Richmond area. Volunteers are also replacing the old steps with new ones.

"We've known for a long time we could use a ramp here," Wetzler added.

During the summer months, dozens of disabled athletes come out here with different groups. Dominion Power and the James River Outdoor Coalition (JROC) each donated $5,000 to revamp the wheelchair access.  

"It's great to watch the river open up," said JROC Vice President, Greg Velzy."Also, the neat thing is, when folks are on the water, it's a great equalizer so you don't know if someone is disabled or not." 

It's a special project that took off quickly for Velzy, who has envisioned this day for years.   

"When Dominion stepped up and said we'd like to make this happen, it was just a whirlwind getting this started and it's been tremendous of them to help out," Velzy noted.  

As this new ramp opens, Velzy and Wetzler hope more disabled folks will take advantage of an opportunity they thought they could never access.  

"A lot of people look at the river from a distance because of their disability and don' think they can get to it," Velzy said. "With this access, they'll say I can get to it so I can do it."

Volunteers hope to wrap up the project in a few weeks. 

Copyright 2011 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.

  • Latest news from NBC12.comNEWSMore>>

  • Redskins dominate Raiders in statement win

    Redskins dominate Raiders in statement win

    Monday, September 25 2017 12:26 AM EDT2017-09-25 04:26:44 GMT

    Kirk Cousins threw for 365 yards and three touchdowns, Chris Thompson had 188 all-purpose yards and a score and the Washington Redskins sacked Derek Carr four times and held the Oakland Raiders to 128 yards in a dominating 27-10 victory on Sunday night. 

    More >>

    Kirk Cousins threw for 365 yards and three touchdowns, Chris Thompson had 188 all-purpose yards and a score and the Washington Redskins sacked Derek Carr four times and held the Oakland Raiders to 128 yards in a dominating 27-10 victory on Sunday night. 

    More >>
  • FIRST ALERT FORECAST: MARIA COMES CLOSER TO THE OUTER BANKS BY TUESDAY & WEDNESDAY

    FIRST ALERT FORECAST: MARIA COMES CLOSER TO THE OUTER BANKS BY TUESDAY & WEDNESDAY

    Sunday, September 24 2017 9:06 PM EDT2017-09-25 01:06:02 GMT

    Get the latest forecast from the NBC12 First Alert Weather team.

    More >>

    Get the latest forecast from the NBC12 First Alert Weather team.

    More >>
  • 1 person hurt, residents displaced after Henrico apartment fire

    1 person hurt, residents displaced after Henrico apartment fire

    Sunday, September 24 2017 3:17 PM EDT2017-09-24 19:17:05 GMT
    (Source: NBC12)(Source: NBC12)
    Crews are investigating, after a fire broke out at an apartment in Henrico. It happened in the 10 block of Chase Gayton Drive, around 1:23 p.m. Sunday. When crews got on scene, they say fire was coming from the top floor of a 3-story building. It took firefighters about 20 minutes to put that fire out. Officials say one person was taken to VCU Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries, and the Red Cross is helping several occupants who were displaced by the fire. They sa...More >>
    Crews are investigating, after a fire broke out at an apartment in Henrico. It happened in the 10 block of Chase Gayton Drive, around 1:23 p.m. Sunday. When crews got on scene, they say fire was coming from the top floor of a 3-story building. It took firefighters about 20 minutes to put that fire out. Officials say one person was taken to VCU Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries, and the Red Cross is helping several occupants who were displaced by the fire. They sa...More >>
Powered by Frankly