Capital Connector Project to revitalize Charleston riverfront

Capital Connector Project to revitalize Charleston riverfront
Published: Jan. 4, 2023 at 6:22 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - A Charleston revitalization project that has been talked about for 10 years is in the planning phase.

The Capital Connector Project was one of Mayor Amy Goodwin’s major topics during Tuesday’s State of the City Address

“It will not only connect Kanawha City to the West Side, it is also going to be development of the riverfront,” Goodwin said.

When the project is done, added and expanded sidewalks will line the 4-mile stretch of Kanawha Boulevard from Magic Island to the 35th Street Bridge. The project will also build up the city space around the Capitol Complex and Greenbrier Street.

“When you come to the city of Charleston and you get dropped off in your airplane and you are coming down Greenbrier Street, what do you see? You see this great big capital. The problem is it’s not really developed right, it’s not really that pretty,” Goodwin said.

The city received a grant of $1.75 million through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s RAISE grant. Those federal dollars will only cover the planning portion to get the Capitol Connector Project shovel ready.

Vanda Perdue walks the West Side stretch everyday. She says she does not even go to the side across the bridge.

“It is too narrow, even for two people to walk side by side. It’s kind of hard, plus you have the bicyclists,” Perdue said.” The bikes come up behind you and if they don’t have a bell they are screaming at you ‘bike on your right’.”

She said the project will make a more inviting Capital City.

“Rather than having to walk up and back or whatever, then you can walk up to the Capitol and back or however far you want to go,” Perdue said.

City officials said they hope to receive a grant from RAISE to cover the construction of the project.