Reconnect Jackson Ward seeking feedback on feasibility study


Reconnect Jackson Ward aims to bridge the physical and historical gaps in the neighborhood. | Photo by @takeone.aerial

Highway caps may be in the future for the reconnection of the Jackson Ward Historic District. The city has been exploring options to reconnect the historic neighborhood since the Richmond 300 Master Plan was launched in 2017. Now, it’s seeking community input in one of the final stages of the feasibility study.

At an open house event last week, city officials introduced a recommended framework for the initiative. After working since January to assess conditions, identify needs + develop concepts, the team will now refine cost estimates and apply for grants to move the project forward.

We have some answers to questions you may be asking about the reconnection.

How would highway caps work?

Building a cap on top of I-95 would allow for the construction of parks, roadways + buildings where there’s currently traffic. Engineering considerations like vertical and horizontal clearances as well as load levels have to be taken into account — but this would not be the first time Richmond built a community space over a highway.

The amount of funding the city can get from state and federal sources will help determine the extent of cap construction.

jackson ward framework plan copy

The framework plan incorporates four priorities. | Screenshot of city documents

What are the project priorities?

There are four primary themes + priorities, created as a result of community feedback sessions. They are all addressed in the framework plan.

  • Mixed Use — Commercial/Housing | Incorporate paths that encourage exploration, opportunities for storefronts, and housing in transition areas
  • Art and Entertainment Space | Provide historical markers, interactive experiences, and event spaces while reconnecting the historic street grid
  • Faith and Contemplative Space | Foster recreation + community spaces for residents
  • Youth Engagement | Promote opportunities for youth development

How can I participate?

If you live, work, or play in Jackson Ward, take a survey to share your thoughts on the design framework + conceptual themes.

We’ll keep readers updated on the reconnection, so stay tuned.

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