RICHMOND, Va. – In conjunction with the annual downtown Grand Illumination festivities, the city will also cut the ribbon and illuminate a much-anticipated pedestrian bridge which connects both sides of the James River.
Construction of the T. Tyler Potterfield Memorial Bridge (TTPMB) began in October 2015, and is part of the $10 million phase one projects of the Richmond Riverfront Master Plan advanced four years ago by Mayor Jones and his administration.
The riverfront plan intends to create a cohesive system out of the miles of waterfront on both banks and to provide enhanced recreational opportunities. Other components include investing in the Virginia Capital Trail and the Low-Line project – a linear park that connects Great Shiplock Park (GSP) with Richmond’s much-loved Canal Walk.
The total length of the Potterfield bridge is 1,600 linear feet, approximately one-third of a mile. The completed work offers a safe deck, with railings, on which users can walk, run, ride a bike, push strollers, and even travel in a wheelchair across the river.
Many are likely familiar with the portion of the Brown’s Island dam that in 1992 was converted by Venture Richmond into the “Three Days in April” Civil War interpretive exhibit and observation platform.
The completed bridge now connects that platform on Brown’s Island to the Manchester climbing wall on the south bank of the James, and provides access to the floodwall path and the Manchester neighborhood.
It is situated between the 9th Street (Manchester) Bridge and the Lee Bridge.
Those who use the southern access point will also see the 17-foot-tall rings that are an art installation by Joshua Wiener. The sculpture was installed in October, ahead of the Potterfield bridge opening.
“We appreciate all of the effort Mayor Jones, City Council, and City of Richmond staff members have put into implementing the plan since its adoption in 2012 and look forward to working with Mayor-elect Stoney and his administration to continue implementation,” said Justin Doyle, Community Conservation Manager of the James River Association.
Mayor Jones will be joined by City officials for the official opening of the bridge on Friday, Dec. 2, at 5:45 p.m. Officials will cut the ribbon and illuminate the bridge at 6 p.m.
The event will be held on Brown’s Island at the northern end of the TTPMP where it connects with the Three Days in April Bridge. The site can be reached from Tredegar Street near South 5th Street.