City of Richmond closes Texas Beach pedestrian bridge

Published: Sep. 2, 2022 at 9:00 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 2, 2022 at 6:45 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The City of Richmond has announced the pedestrian bridge leading to Texas Beach is now closed.

A recent inspection of park-maintained bridges found that the bridge was structurally unsafe for public use.

However, visitors can access the James River shore by taking the North Bank Trail east towards downtown until further notice.

Crews were at the bridge on Friday roping it off to keep people from using it ahead of the busy Labor Day weekend.

The signs are posted stating that the bridge is closed. Some visitors ignored the warning and walked the bridge anyway, while others turned back disappointed.

“I’m disappointed because it’s so hot out here, and I want to go swimming,” said one parkgoer.

The bridge was closed after structural engineers determined it was unsafe. The bridge was already having problems. That’s why city council set aside $2 million in federal funds to begin fixing the issues.

“The question is, what’s the total cost of the repairs, right? And so, if it’s at $2 million - great. If it’s above that we need to go on council, administration needs to bring that before us so we can make sure that the dollars are appropriated,” said Michael Jones, Richmond City Council.

There’s no timeline for when the bridge will be fixed, and the bridge is the only way for people to get to Texas Beach.

“Parks and Rec staff, they will be out this weekend to ensure that individuals are safe and finding their way around, so it will be a minor inconvenience, but safety always overrides convenience,” stated Jones.

The James River Park System would not say exactly what the structural issues were, but they plan to release a more detailed report about the closure over the weekend.