Friday, May 8, 2015

Final Phase Begins to Replace 5th and 7th Street Bridges

On Wednesday morning, May 13, prior to rush hour, 5th Street Bridge over Leigh Street will close to vehicular and pedestrian traffic to allow for bridge replacement.  Construction is expected to end in mid-August.

The following changes will be in place during construction:

  • 5th Street will be closed at Jackson Street to through traffic.  Traffic will be detoured to 3rd Street; south on 3rd Street to Marshall Street, east on Marshall Street to 5th Street
  • Leigh Street will remain closed to vehicles, pedestrians and parking between 4th Street and 8th Street.  No on-street parking will be permitted.

Motorists are encouraged to adhere to all detour and parking signage posted in the construction area.

Meantime, work is continuing to replace the 7th Street Bridge, which has been closed since January. The bridge is expected to re-open in mid-June.

The $3.6 million dollar project is being funded through City and state funds.  The contract has been awarded to Corman Construction.

Additional details can be obtained by contacting the project manager, Thomas Westbrook, with the Department of Public Works, at 646-3421 or at

City Partners With Ft. Lee to Complete Service Projects

The City’s Neighbor-to-Neighbor (N2N) initiative is partnering with the U.S Army Base at Fort Lee, Virginia to perform service projects in the City of Richmond. Ft. Lee has agreed to provide approximately 40 warriors (soldiers in training) once per month to serve in Richmond. The first project will begin on Saturday, May 9, from 8 a.m. to noon, with soldiers completing beautification efforts at two city locations, Lombardy and Park Avenue Triangle, and Petronius S. Jones Park.

“This partnership provides a tremendous resource for civic engagements to help strengthen our city’s neighborhoods,” said Mayor Dwight C. Jones. “Our nation’s military personnel stand ready to protect the freedoms we enjoy and I hope their willingness to volunteer inspires others to join in supporting their communities and neighbors with a commitment to service.”

The Lombardy and Park Avenue Triangle project, 347 North Lombardy Street, includes the removal and installation of lumber borders, removal and refill of sand, installation of 6x6 foot permeable pavers, clear extended sand lot, and removal of old signage. The Petronius S. Jones Park project, 1714 Idlewood Avenue, includes the spreading of mulch, weeding, and the spreading of gravel onto trails.

“It is important for our young Warriors to understand the importance of giving back to our communities in which we live,” said 53rd Quartermaster Brig. Gen. Ronald Kirklin. “The City’s Neighbor-to-Neighbor initiative is a great program that fosters a lasting relationship between Fort Lee and the City of Richmond.  We are fortunate to be a part of this great initiative and we are excited about what the future holds as we continue to build on this great partnership with the City of Richmond.”

For more information about N2N volunteer opportunities, please visit

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Richmond Department of Justice Services Joins Nationally Recognized Initiative

The City of Richmond announced today that it is one of six localities participating in the statewide National Institute of Corrections’ (NIC) Evidence-Based Decision Making (EBDM) Phase V Initiative. The EBDM Initiative is the practice of using research findings to inform or guide decisions across the justice system. The NIC’s EBDM framework represents an evolution of today’s criminal justice system, designed to build collaborative, evidence-based decision making and practices in local criminal justice systems by equipping criminal justice policymakers with the information, processes, and tools to reduce pretrial misconduct and post-conviction reoffending.  “In Richmond, we have worked diligently to confront the ineffectiveness and inefficiencies of the old jail default model,” said Mayor Dwight C. Jones. “This has resulted in a strong commitment to provide programs and interventions that are researched based and result driven.” Through the EBDM Project, Richmond will have the opportunity to obtain expert, technical assistance on national industry standards for justice related data collection and sharing. The City of Richmond’s goal is to engage state and local partners in a process to conduct local-level cross-systems mapping to determine where points for intervention or diversion of individuals are needed; and identify decision points which treatment systems interact with the local criminal justice system. The EBDM’s Policy Team will evaluate current sentencing and jail diversion options; determine how current initiatives can be maximized; identify barriers in the criminal justice system that may contribute to delays in pretrial release; and recommend policy changes in case processing decisions. “We have gradually begun to lower the number of defendants detained while awaiting trial in Richmond,” said Rufus Fleming, director of the Richmond Department of Justice Services. “As stakeholders become more comfortable with risk assessment tools, over time, we will continue to see gains in detaining only those offenders who pose real, quantifiable risks to the community.” Richmond was selected through a competitive process. Led by the Richmond Community Criminal Justice Board, local and state stakeholders submitted an application for participation in the statewide EBDM Phase V Initiative. The EBDM Initiative will be coordinated by Richmond’s Commonwealth Attorney, Michael Herring. The EBDM Policy Team will be chaired by Rhonda Gilmer, Senior Deputy Director of Justice Services and vice-chaired by John Lindstrom, Director of the Richmond Behavioral Health Authority.