The Riverside Drive entrance to Belle Isle and the James River Park System is scheduled to get a $90,000 makeover next year.
Thanks to a grant from Altria tied to the 2015 UCI Road World Championships, the James River Association is seeking Richmond’s permission to beautify the 22nd Street tower entrance at Riverside, where erosion has created a steep approach to the bridge leading to the island.
The outdoor group plans to improve the area by regrading some sections and adding planting beds, granite steps and a wood-chip path. The concept plan also calls for a new sign at the park entrance.
Because the project would cost more than $25,000, the City Council will have to vote next month to accept the work as a gift from the James River Association.
Altria offered to give the James River Association a no-match grant to do a beautification project of its choosing, as long as the improved area was along the route for the bicycle race and also had stormwater management benefits, according to city documents. The route for the time trial circuit comes close to the 22nd Street tower entrance.
“JRA already has these funds in hand and has been given permission from Altria to move forward as necessary to implement the project prior to the 2015 race,” William H. Street, chief executive officer of the James River Association, said in an Oct. 22 letter to the city.
Street said the city is not expected to provide any additional funding for the project.