Chickahominy Riverfront Park is getting a makeover.
The James City County Board of Supervisors this week approved a project to fix river’s eroding shoreline.
One member, Sue Sandler was absent from Tuesday’s meeting.
Darryl Cook, county engineer and assistant director for stormwater, during the meeting said the project will have technology called “the living shoreline” which uses rocks, wetlands or creates sandy areas instead of using a bulkhead.
He noted the project plans to address four main areas: 1,200 linear feet along Chickahominy River’s shoreline and 1,110 linear feet along Gordon Creek.
“This project will not only reduce pollutant and sediment loads into the adjacent waterways and increase environmental habitat but also address safety hazards for park patrons and help preserve park property,” according to Cook’s memo sent to the Board of Supervisors. “Several portions of the park’s shoreline are currently fenced off and have warning signs to prevent entry by park patrons due to the steep, unsteady vertical banks.”
The entire project costs $1,450,049 and will be 50 percent funded by the Virginia Environmental Endowment grant funds–– $781,900 ––– part of the James River Water Quality Improvement Fund as well as the Capital Improvements Program budget, according to the memorandum.
Carolina Marine Structures Inc. has been selected to complete the project.
The project is expected to start in early September and be completed around the end of March, Cook said.
“The project has a wetlands permit that requires us or only allows us to work in the water between Sept. 15 and Feb. 15,” he said.
Cook noted they are putting rock structures in but they are also going to be “grading back the slopes” making them less steep, something they can continue to work on after the Feb. 15 deadline.
The county also voted to buy property along the Chickahominy River to build a new park called Brickyard Landing Park.
“At the June 9, 2020 Board of Supervisors meeting, the Board unanimously voted to accept a $687,500 grant from the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation for the purchase of property for the creation of Brickyard Landing Park,” according to the memorandum sent by Carla Brittle, Community Centers administrator, to the Board of Supervisors.
The county currently owns a third of the property, Brickyard Landing, and thanks to a matching grant from the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, they can buy the remaining acreage––– 119 acres.
“County staff has negotiated a purchase option from the landowner for the property for an appraisal supported value of $1,375,000,” according to the same memorandum from Brittle. “Once the property is purchased, a reimbursement for $687,500 will be filed with the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation.”
All the board members who were at the meeting approved the new park project.
“It’s just going to give us one more thing for parks and rec,” said Board of Supervisors Vice Chairman Michael Hipple. “We’ve got all this water around us and everybody comes and says where are they accessed, and so as we slowly build these accesses to the waterway, you know it’s going to really enhance us in 40 and 50 years down the road.”
“This is when it’s really going to be a top notch place to come to and see,” he added.
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