The latest piece of Richmond’s riverfront-area development push was lowered into place Friday.
A new pedestrian bridge was installed spanning the Haxall Canal between Riverside on the James and the Locks development. The nearly $2 million city-funded addition is 87 feet long and lets off close to the front door of Casa del Barco, a restaurant in the first floor of the Locks Italianate building.
Kevin Healy, owner of Casa del Barco, said while he’s certainly not staking his business on the thoroughfare, it’s a welcome addition.
“My guess it that it will change the pedestrian flow, and instead of our front door being at a dead end, it will be the access point to Brown’s Island,” Healy said. “I don’t think it will be a life-changing thing for the restaurant, but it certainly won’t hurt.”
The bridge comes as construction is heating again at the canal. The Locks developers, a venture between WVS and Fountainhead Development, are working on a new construction apartment project just east of the development’s current buildings.
Healy said business has been improving on the canal, adding that Casa del Barco sat 700 more guests this July than in the same month last year. Still, he expects business will ebb and flow throughout the seasons in years to come.
“It’s kind of a marathon and not a sprint down here,” he said. “It is a little seasonal, and we’re developing that pattern and becoming more familiar with that pattern.”