Recently I gave Wilder and the city an ugly grade of D+ for the reconstruction of Battery Park. I’m thinking I may have been wrong in giving out that grade. You see, giving a grade or an evaluation implies that the project is complete and can now be assessed. In reality the project is not complete, the park is not open, empty lots abound with no sign of progress or even real clues as to what to expect. The bi-weekly newsletter the city promised to send after the floods to keep us informed of the project and it’s progress? We received two hard copies a couple of years ago (the same exact information with only the dates changed) before it went online. I’m not sure what bi-weekly means to the city of Richmond but it looks like 4 issues in over two years. The last one released claims it’s now a monthly, published in June…
I should have given them an ‘I’, for incomplete.
Four years after the floods started and two years after the collapse of the storm drains and the destruction of the park and $47 million dollars later where should we be? Frankly, a lot further along than we are.
The drains are fixed. While we haven’t had a true hurricane deluge to test them the heavy rains we’ve had recently have produced nothing more than large puddles. Great! Couple of questions though…
When we flooded so did the park north of Brookland Parkway in Ginter Park. Do the new drains cover them or are they the next domino to fall in the whole north Richmond drainage system of Ginter Park-Battery Park-Shockoe Valley & Bottom?
The drain near my house on now depopulated Joshua Street looks to be working fine. Now I’m not a city engineer but shouldn’t drains be flush or below ground level? If the concrete lip of the drain is seven or eight inches above ground level…. Kinda defeats the whole drainage thing doesn’t it?
The sinkholes have been filled. Personally, I find sinkholes very scary. Has the city ever really fixed the one up in Church Hill from a couple of years ago? The mini-ones that opened up in the park and in the middle of tennis courts weren’t that big but have any studies been done to see if there are any more lingering just below the surface and how safe is the neighbourhood as a whole?
The park is not open. The only noticeable work that had been done for most of the spring and through the summer seems to have been reconstructing a brick buidling and installing a prefab (although very nice looking) playgound set. Work has picked up of late, however, with some attention paid to the resurfacing of the tennis courts. I would love to think it was due to my last post on the park but I suspect that our city leaders only read my blog if they are looking for ways to take potshots at each other… Being a bit more cynical I suspect it has much more to do with our upcoming election. I fully expect our council woman, Ellen Robertson, to be knocking on our door in the next few weeks (as she does each election cycle) to ask for our vote. Once she is done with that she can go back to ignoring phone calls and emails from her constiuents. At least with Sa’id Al’Amin we got noticed. Our current empty suit is a bit of a wall flower in city politics.
The park expansion seems to have been forgotten. When the city tore down the two apartment complexes and the dozen or so homes a couple of blocks from my house there was much talk of a community center, gardens, or any number of things. Can’t find anything resembling a plan out there (if someone knows pass it along!) and the area is turning into a poorly maintaned grassland. Couple that with the unknown future of Norrell School (at least they didn’t send the kids back to a school polluted with who knows what), the unused baseball fields (which they continued to water while we were under water restrictions…) and you start to wonder where all the promises (and the money) went.
Speaking of money…. I had a number of discussions with friends after the first post on all this. One thing that kept coming up was the money and the timeline. One almost has to wonder if Wilder, rather than repair and maintain the drains with city money when the problem started appearing, waited the two years until they completely collapsed so he could apply for Federal money to replace them…. Don’t know that’s what happened but just wondering and if so, were we an ‘earmark’?…
We’re dry but will everone upstream stay that way?
The park is still closed but the election season has brought a few workers onto the scene and some incremental progress is being made (will it continue after Nov 4th?).
The park expansion forced dozens of people from their homes and now seems to have been forgotten.
Communication is either not the cities priority or not in their skill set.