Bike Walk RVA

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Sports Backers Celebrates Groundbreaking of Henrico, Hanover and Ashland Portions of the Fall Line

New 4.8-mile section is the first major construction phase of the Fall Line


RICHMOND, VA – A regional partnership including Hanover and Henrico counties and the Town of Ashland held a ceremonial groundbreaking today in Ashland to celebrate the start of construction along a 4.8-mile portion of the 43-mile Fall Line trail. The section, currently called Design-Build Phase 1, will extend the northernmost existing completed section of the Ashland section of the trail to Woodman Road in Henrico. This is the first major construction phase of the Fall Line to be administered by Virginia Department of Transportation. It will be part of the northern half of the trail expected to be completed by 2026. Over the next year, phases comprising 20 miles of the trail will be under construction, with all 43 miles expected to be completed by 2030.

The construction of Design-Build 1 follows the February 2024 release of Sports Backers Fall Line Vision Plan and the October 2023 groundbreaking of Henrico’s Park St. phase of the Fall Line in Lakeside. Sports Backers has announced the organization is relocating its headquarters to the planned trailhead at the Lakeside section of the trail.

The new section will largely be on or adjacent to the remnants of the former Ashland Trolley Line. This portion of the Fall Line will connect Ashland to Henrico through Hanover and cross the Chickahominy River with the installation of a major new bridge. The Fall Line will run through seven localities: Ashland, Hanover, Henrico, Richmond, Chesterfield, Colonial Heights, and Petersburg, passing through downtown Richmond and across the James. It will connect to the Virginia Capital Trail and the Appomattox River Trail, making it the spine of Central Virginia’s trail network.

“We are thrilled to celebrate the start of construction on the Fall Line trail,” said Hanover County Administrator John A. Budesky. “This transformative project is significant not only for Hanover, but for all the local communities along its path. Beyond enriching recreational opportunities, it promises to bolster the economic and environmental vitality of our entire region. We are grateful to Sports Backers for its continued vision and leadership in making the Fall Line trail a reality.”

“Ashland, in partnership with Hanover County, had a vision for decades of a trail connecting the Center of the Universe to Richmond. We originally envisioned that trail as the Trolley Line Trail, but are thrilled that it grew into a regional priority with expanded scope in the form of the Fall Line trail,” said Josh Farrar, Ashland’s Town Manager. “We’re not only excited for the addition of this wonderful quality of life amenity for our residents but also that Ashland will serve as the northern trailhead at mile marker 0.0, welcoming visitors and outdoor recreation enthusiasts into the restaurants and shops of our historic downtown.”

“Henrico County is excited to see another portion of the Fall Line becoming a reality for residents, bicyclists and other recreational users across central Virginia,” said Henrico Supervisor Roscoe D. Cooper III, of the Fairfield District. “After years of planning and community engagement, it’s particularly gratifying to see the trail taking shape as a regional amenity, with this critical crossing of the Chickahominy River, between Hanover and Henrico. Before we know it, the Fall Line will extend south all the way from the existing Ashland Trolley Line Trail in Ashland and joining with sections in Henrico, where our Park Street Phase in Lakeside is well under construction and targeted for completion later this summer.”

This phase has been allocated $25.8 million for planning and final construction. It will be a 10-foot-wide, paved, multi-use trail that will offer a place for all kinds of active transportation.

“The Central Virginia Transportation Authority is tasked with prioritizing and funding major regional transportation projects throughout Central Virginia,” said Chet Parsons, Executive Director at Central Virginia Transportation Authority.  “We are thrilled to be the lead funder for the Fall Line and continue our support to get the trail fully constructed as soon as possible.  The economic, health, and transportation benefits of this one-of-a-kind network will be a major asset to help sustain our region’s future.”

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) led various public engagement opportunities that supported the advancement and implementation of the Fall Line project.

“We’re delighted to contribute to these endeavors that foster community involvement, advocate for healthy lifestyles, and enrich sustainable transportation alternatives for both locals and visitors across the region. Together, we’re paving a path toward a brighter, interconnected future,” said Dale Totten, VDOT’s Richmond District Engineer.

Sports Backers, the creator of the original trail concept, has continued to be the leading advocacy organization behind the Fall Line. A key component of its mission to inspire active living includes the advocacy for and development of safe and accessible walking and biking infrastructure throughout our region.

“The Fall Line trail, as envisioned by Sports Backers, will serve as the spine of our active transportation network connecting people to schools, businesses, parks, universities and neighborhoods,” said Jon Lugbill, Executive Director at Sports Backers. “Constructing the Fall Line trail through seven localities and a multitude of destinations provides our region with the opportunity to build one of the most transformative trails in the country.”

The entire Fall Line trail is expected to be completed by 2030. For more information visit, view the Fall Line Vision Plan or reach out to Brantley Tyndall, Director of Bike Walk RVA at [email protected].



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