Virginia Capital Trail

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Virginia Capital Trail

Virginia Capital Trail is a bicycle and pedestrian trail between Williamsburg, Jamestown and Richmond in the Commonwealth of Virginia in the United States. It is 55 miles (89 km) in length and largely parallels a highway, Virginia Route 5, a Virginia Scenic Byway.

The trail ranges in width between eight and ten feet (2.4 to 3.0 m), and will be paved throughout its entire length to accommodate all modes of non-motorized land transportation. Trail users will share the new $33.6 million Judith Stewart Dresser Bridge over the Chickahominy River with Route 5 motorists, but will use a specially designed area physically separated from motor vehicles. Portions of the Virginia Capital Trail opened beginning in 2006 and the full trail is scheduled for completion by 2015.

A unique trail[edit]

The name derives from the fact that the trail links the three capitals of the British Colony of Virginia and the Commonwealth of Virginia after independence, for a total of over 400 years.

Unlike many rail trail projects which utilize former railroad rights-of-way, no railroad was ever built along this corridor. Instead, the Virginia Capital Trail essentially parallels the north shore of the James River and Virginia Route 5 approximately 55 miles (89 km) between the two cities, from the Capitol in Colonial Williamsburg through portions of James City County, Charles City County, and Henrico County to the current Virginia State Capitol in Richmond. [1]

The trail will utilize the new Judith Stewart Dresser Bridge which crosses the Chickahominy River at the 1634 border of James City and Charles City counties. The $33.6 million fixed span bridge is a replacement for an older movable swing-span bridge. It was specifically designed to include a 10-foot (3.0 m) shared-use path (separated from the main roadway by a divider) for the Virginia Capital Trail's users. [2]

Sponsoring agencies[edit]

Virginia Capital Trail Foundation (VCTF) is a public-private partnership whose mission is to support and promote the construction, public use, and ongoing enhancement of the Virginia Capital Trail. The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), a state agency, describes their relationship as "working partners on this unique project."

Sections and schedule for completion[edit]

As of July 2014, the Virginia Capital Trail was partially completed and in use, including the previously existing Colonial Parkway. Remaining sections were scheduled for completion in late 2014 and 2015.[3]

  • Colonial Parkway Phase (open in Williamsburg and along Colonial Parkway)
  • Greensprings Phase (2.4 miles) - opened in 2006
  • Chickahominy Phase (4.8 miles) - opened in 2007
  • Sherwood Forest Phase (13 miles) – completion in late 2014
  • Charles City Courthouse Phase (7.3 miles) – opened in 2009
  • New Market Heights Phase (10.3 miles) – completion in fall 2015
  • Varina/Park Phase (11.3 miles) – completion in summer 2015
  • Richmond Riverfront Phase, Section Two (1.5 miles) – completion in summer 2015
  • Richmond Riverfront Phase, Section One (.8 miles) – opened in 2010

Noteworthy places on trail or nearby[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]