Pedestrian bridge connects Richmond’s public spaces and becomes a new one itself | Richmond Magazine

The following is an excerpt from Richmond Magazine‘s “Shared Ground” column about placemaking and public spaces in the capital city by Tina Griego.

The T. Tyler Potterfield Memorial Bridge is one of the most spectacular new public spaces under construction in the city. The bridge, 10 feet across, 1,1700 feet long and closer to the river than any other city bridge that spans it, will connect Brown’s Island to Manchester. It is expected to be finished later this year, and will be open to all modes of transport except those involving a motor. The bridge rests on concrete piers that are the remnants of a power plant dam that operated for 80 years on the spot, until about 1980.

In 1992, Venture Richmond converted a portion of the dam into an interpretive Civil War exhibit and observation platform. The bridge will pick up from there and cross to the base of the Manchester climbing wall, which used to be the southern abutment of the old Richmond and Petersburg Railroad. And this is how what is old is made new again and how a city story is constructed and then reconstructed.

The bridge is part of the city’s 2012 Riverfront Plan, which envisions broader access and new connections to the prize that is the James.

Howard Shockey & Sons, Inc. serves as construction manager at risk for the bridge. Shockey works closely with AECOM, which is managing comprehensive redevelopment efforts for the City of Richmond.

The full story can be found at


RVA Potterfield Bridge

T. Tyler Potterfield Pedestrian Bridge by Skyshots Photography