Was Belle Isle pedestrian bridge last bold move by Richmond?

Belle Isle pedestrian bridge under the Robert E. Lee BridgePhil Riggan – James River News Hub

A comment in the article Access Week: Connecting Brown’s Island to Manchester via VEPCO levee this week prompted me to look up information on the Belle Isle pedestrian bridge, which I declared to be the one of the most bold and forward-thinking plans the city has had at the James River.

In 1989, the Richmond Renaissance (now known as Venture Richmond) “James River Discovery Program” resulted in the clean up of Belle Isle and Tredegar Street and provided for a pedestrian bridge slung underneath the new Robert E. Lee Bridge, which was completed in 1989.

The views of the downtown skyline and the James River are tough to beatThe $2.3 million, 1,040-foot pedestrian bridge was constructed in 1991 and is suspended on steel cables under the Lee Bridge. James River Corporation was the primary private contributor to the construction of this bridge along the with Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Transportation. The views of the downtown skyline and the James River are tough to beat.

The pedestrian bridge had to be closed for a couple of months in early 2009 after a 3-foot piece of concrete fell from the Lee Bridge. The pedestrian bridge was closed to allow repair crews to erect a $20,200 canopy of wood and steel atop a 105-foot section of the span.

There have been other periods where repairs have been needed on the Lee Bridge above the pedestrian bridge, but opening up a path to Belle Isle has been one of the most wonderful additions to the downtown scene in the 30+ years of the James River Park.

(Some information came from The James River in Richmond by John Bryan and from the Richmond Times-Dispatch)

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4 responses to “Was Belle Isle pedestrian bridge last bold move by Richmond?

  1. Is that scaffolding permanent, or will it ever be removed?

  2. Thanks for this site. After living in Richmond for several years we are just discovering the joys of the James River Park system. The information you provide is valued and appreciated.

  3. Last bold move? Certainly bold, and particularly enabling, yet I’m thinking our Richmond Folk Festival is the “latest and greatest”.

  4. Pingback: -235 | The Mud Dauber In Training

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