Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Remediation and Restoration Work Begins at Historic Ancarrow's Landing

~ Project completion targeted for the end of 2014 ~

Work is beginning in October for the remediation and improvement of historic Ancarrow’s Landing, a key part of the James River Park System. These efforts, first announced in May of this year, are being conducted through an agreement with ExxonMobil Oil Corporation, a successor company through merger to Virginia Carolina Chemical Corporation (VCC) the entity which occupied the site from the 1920s through the early 1960s. ExxonMobil voluntarily committed to the site’s cleanup and improvement efforts through the Voluntary Remediation Program by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (VDEQ) in 2010, a program encouraging hazardous substance cleanups that might otherwise not take place.

The Ancarrow’s Landing and historic Manchester Docks have long been thought to have excellent potential for Riverfront attractions and greater public use. The location, lack of through traffic, and limited flood protection had largely slowed efforts to improve the site over the years. The work will contribute to the City realizing the site’s potential and historical value.

Although conditions on the site do not pose any risk to users of the park areas, in order to improve the quality of the site and further ensure public health, a Remedial Action Work Plan was developed and approved by VDEQ to address select soils. Approximately 5,000 cubic yards of soil will be removed during the remediation process. Clean soil backfill, topsoil, gravel and vegetation will be imported onsite and used to restore the removal areas in accordance with the restoration plan.

“The city welcomes these changes to this important and historic area. Ancarrow’s Landing is a significant part of the city’s Riverfront Plan,” said Norman Merrifield, director of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities for the City of Richmond. “Once complete, this restoration work will make the park area more inviting for visitors and further enhance the City’s parks along the James River.”

Specific changes resulting from the restoration effort include:

  • Expanded parking areas for additional cars, trucks, and boat trailers
  • Reuse of several George Washington canal stones that are currently stockpiled and unused
  • Placement and use of tree islands and boulders to enhance and define the parking areas
  • Enhancement of the access trails from parking areas to the beginning of the historic Richmond Slave Trail
The City of Richmond Urban Design Committee approved the work plan and restoration plans in late May. All work is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year.