The next phase of the Greening Virginia’s Capitol is about to begin! The Alliance has partnered with the City of Richmond, 3North, Waterstreet Studio, and Capitol Trees to complete design and begin implementation of Richmond’s first green corridor on 10th Street.  This urban greenway, dubbed the Jefferson Greenway, will be constructed using green infrastructure techniques that prevent polluted stormwater runoff from entering the City’s combined sewer overflow system (CSO) and the James River.  Impervious pavement will be replaced with stormwater infiltration gardens and streetscape elements that will demonstrate how beautifying our urban landscapes can result in meaningful pollutant load reductions and help us achieve our Chesapeake Bay TMDL Phase II WIP goals.
The master plan for this project includes 5 blocks that stretches from the Capitol to the James River, and use green infrastructure techniques such as, curb cut inlets, bio filter bump-outs, planting strips, Filterra units, bioretention planters, and pervious pavement.  The master plan will be implemented in several phases, with the block between Cary and Main Streets selected as Phase 1.  This block was selected for Phase 1 because it has the most potential for quality stormwater management and water quality treatment, and there were existing design drawings for the incorporation of LID structures from the Greening of the Capitol Project.  This portion of the block will contain bioretention planters and trees.   The permit for this phase has been approved by the City and construction should be completed in early 2016. In addition to reducing a significant amount of pollution, this project will also help the City achieve the goals of their Downtown Master Plan and Richmond’s Sustainability Plan.  This includes “greening” the City as one of the foundations to making the downtown a “livable” area.  The Jefferson Greenway project will also provide a beautiful, park-like environment in historic Downtown Richmond that will be enjoy by the local community and tourists alike.  As this project develops block by block, there will be many opportunities to form additional partnerships with surrounding businesses and other stakeholders, to address new challenges that arise.