theriverpirate

Richmond's Canal Walk

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Thanks for the welcome, worldcoupe. I've been lurking for a while and figured it was time to contribute.

To answer burt, yes, GC is general contractor. Sorry about the shorthand! :D

In reference to the canals, they absolutely have to be connected. One, it's part of the deed covenants on all the sites bordering the canals. Two, the Haxall and James River & Kanawha canals are already connected through the two remaining boat lifts between the two, and disconnecting them goes against all kinds of laws (many of them federal, I believe). Thirdly, without the water from the Haxall, there would be nothing feeding the JR&K, which makes it pretty hard to run canal boats on! :thumbsup:

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Thanks Pirate for your input. Several times on RCW I have broached the subject of connecting Haxall to JR&K, but never got a scintilla of interest. Are you saying deed covenants require that they be joined? To do so by the two locks at old Reynolds would require the closure of 12th street, the construction of a basin, and descending locks down 12th - at least in my imagination. That seems out of the realm of possibility. BUT why not divert JR&K just beyond Ladybird via a newly constructed canal toward Alcoa parking lot, build a turning basin there, then via what I call a boat lift (a mechanical devise that litterally lifts vessels) to Haxall water level thru the cut in the flood wall? Am I crazy, or is this NOT a fesibility? England has several such devises connecting canals.

:huh::huh:

PS: Being the only boat lift in America (to my knowledge), it would be an incredible tourist attraction as well as practical.

PPS: Imagine a smart little boutique hotel in that interesting towered building across from ROTJ!!

PPSS: Now, let's negotiate with Ethyl about locks to the old but dry canal bed, and thence to Byrd Park Power plant. Hey, might as well dream big!!! :lol:

PPPS: And, definitely, negotiate with Norfolk Southern about repairing the railway bridge at Great Ship Lock. Imagine boarding one of the present canal boats at Byrd Park, cruising down stream whilst sipping wine, cocktails or coca cola, all the way via the new connections to 17th and Dock (just beyond the cut in the flood wall). There, giddy (and probably seasick) passengers would transfer to a hundred foot deeper water ship and continue thru Great Ship Lock into the James River and terminate at the new Rocketts Landing Marina.

Edited by burt

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Burt, I think I was the only one who also agreed that a connection via a nifty boat lift needs to be made. I personally, was calling for something along the lines of the Falkirk Wheel located in Britain

falkirk_wheel3.jpeg

Of course I would be advocating a much smaller version :lol:

Edited by wrldcoupe4

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Thank you, coupe, for posting this. And yes, a much smaller version would do the trick :)

Maybe we'll have water taxis buzzing up and down our waterways. :lol:

Edited by burt

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Another idea: when the canalwalk is extended eastward, why not have colorful boats of every world-wide description lining the bank offereing all sorts of commercial activity. I don't see anyway that buildings could be erected under the CSX trestle. Years past there was a lot of water traffic on that stretch of JR&K canal - even a shipyard in Chappel Island. I remember seeing a Chinese junk (spelling) there once. Do you think such an idea is too Disney-ish? So what, say I! :lol:

Edited by burt

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burt...I think that would be an awesome and totally different experience! From what you said, I'm thinking shops floating on the banks of the canal with a full variety of offerings. Entry could be gained from the canal walk or possibly even also from a water "taxi" carrying patrons up and down the canal. It would have to be wider than the canal to the east though I think. I'm thinking mini floating Carytown :)

I like it. I think it would even be worth suggesting to the decision makers. Richmonders need to think out of the box for their great city. This certainly wouldn't be in the box!

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burt...I think that would be an awesome and totally different experience! From what you said, I'm thinking shops floating on the banks of the canal with a full variety of offerings. Entry could be gained from the canal walk or possibly even also from a water "taxi" carrying patrons up and down the canal. It would have to be wider than the canal to the east though I think. I'm thinking mini floating Carytown :)

I like it. I think it would even be worth suggesting to the decision makers. Richmonders need to think out of the box for their great city. This certainly wouldn't be in the box!

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And it wouldn't be prohibitively expensive. Thank you coupe for your enthusiastic encouragement. :)

And when floods threaten, all the ships could sail through the the Great Ship Lock to safe havens out of the flood plain (which I'm told Rocketts Landing is).

Edited by burt

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hahaha I'm always enthusiastic about things Richmond :) especially unconventional ideas. I wonder if there is somewhere or someone that could be approached with ideas such as these?

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Thanks! If I could only make a list of everything happening in Richmond's renaissance! I'll try to take some more pictures soon...

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Thanks! If I could only make a list of everything happening in Richmond's renaissance! I'll try to take some more pictures soon...

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yep, I just said that in another thread.. great minds think alike I guess :lol:

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The idea for the ship/shops ( hmmm, Ship Shops, I like it ^_^ ) is very similiar to an idea my coworker has, except his plan is for a floating restaurant on a barge. Without going into specifics (unless you really want me to), this would be an insanely good business deal for someone with enough capital to get it off the ground. Also, with the barge, it wouldn't have to worry about high waters if it was fastened down to "extension poles" (forgot the actaul name of them) that would keep it in place but let it rise with the water.

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The two canals are required to be joined, but not necessarily be navigable by boat.  As they are now, with the Haxall feeding into the JR&K, they meet all covenants.  Unfortunately, while your idea for a ship lift is pretty cool, it will almost definitely never happen due to money and historical preservation restraints.

Plans to reconnect all the canals from the Great Ship Lock to Maymont have been in the works since the eighties.  I think it would be absolutely fantastic to take a ride from Maymont to Shockoe Bottom, but the rail companies have thus far been unwilling to let it happen.

Finally, that rail bridge (it's a type of bascule bridge, btw) should be working by 2007.  It will allow the canal boats to drive right up to the lock, and there will hopefully be a dock where they can let off passengers.  It would take a special act of Congress to allow the lock itself to be used again (it's a National Historic Landmark or something); however, this is definitely not out of the question.  In fact, I remember hearing something recently about plans to sail a ship up the river from Jamestown to the city dock area.

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Thanks for responding riverpirate. A couple of comments and questions: can understand financial restraints re boatlift but fail to see how historical preservation enters the picture. If it's true, then preservation goes too far IMO. It (preservation) would preclude connecting Haxall to canal on Ethyl property as well, ruling out forever any hope of Byrd Park to Shockoe. And what does CSX have to do with usage of JR&K canal? Do they own the canal bed as well as their parallel tracks? We all know that CSX is no friend to passenger traffic, but does that extends to canal boats?

Now about Great Ship Lock. First of all, good news that the N/S bascule bridge will be in working order by 2007, but fie on Congress if it were to interfere with reopening the lock to navigation. The Coast Guard might have some say in the matter, but I daresay they would negotiate resonable usage.

Alas, when you heard talk of The Goodspeed arriving from Jamestown, I'm sure the reference to city dock area was the Upper Intermediate Terminal (Anabel Lee's old mooring spot).

You certainly are knowledgeable on the ins and outs of our waterways, but I submit that serious consideration should be given to ideas expressed here and elsewhere by those who will determine future canal development.

Please don't be a stranger here, riverpirate. Your input is invaluable. :)

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hahaha. "Extension Poles" almost sounds as complicated as my "Boat Lift". Would it be like a hydraulic system raising a permanently placed barge from mooring level to flood level? You know, those rising waters have been known to cover the parking lots of Tobacco Row! Listen, I'm in favor of any and all ideas, but I still would prefer if your friend's barge could sail off thru the lock to safe haven and return when danger has passed. As coupe says, let's think out of the box. LOL

Hate to keep bringing up my old age, but I recall when there was a rather seedy restaurant moored on the canal just east of the cut in the flood wall. It was called Captain Herbert's and served fresh seafood brought up river daily.

Encourage your co-worker!!

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yea this restaurant idea sounds awesome! add some "shop ships" nearby and we have a floating shopping district! :)

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All right, guys, now what are we going to call the new row - SHIP SHOPS or SHOP SHIPS??? Or maybe RESAIL ROW!! :rofl:

Edited by burt

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Thanks for responding riverpirate.  A couple of comments and questions:  can understand financial restraints re boatlift but fail to see how historical preservation enters the picture.  If it's true, then preservation goes too far IMO.  It (preservation) would preclude connecting Haxall to canal on Ethyl property as well, ruling out forever any hope of Byrd Park to Shockoe.  And what does CSX have to do with usage of JR&K canal?  Do they own the canal bed as well as their parallel tracks?  We all know that CSX is no friend to passenger traffic, but does that extends to canal boats?

Now about Great Ship Lock.  First of all, good news that the N/S bascule bridge will be in working order by 2007, but fie on Congress if it were to interfere with reopening the lock to navigation.  The Coast Guard might have some say in the matter, but I daresay they would negotiate resonable usage.

Alas, when you heard talk of The Goodspeed arriving from Jamestown, I'm sure the reference to city dock area was the Upper Intermediate Terminal (Anabel Lee's old mooring spot).

You certainly are knowledgeable on the ins and outs of our waterways, but I submit that serious consideration should be given to ideas expressed here and elsewhere by those who will determine future canal development.

Please don't be a stranger here, riverpirate.  Your input is invaluable. :)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

When it comes to historical preservation, nothing is ever set in stone, but some things are easier to accomplish than others. With enough support, anything can be done :thumbsup:

CSX and other rail companies bought up most of the canals, towpaths, and other land that the canals ran along, meaning they are the main obstacle facing restoring the canals. It will take a lot of money/tax & land deals to convince them to allow boats to run along their tracks. Unfortunately, rail companies aren't known for doing things out of the goodness of their hearts.

As it stands now, only Congress and the Secretary of Transportaion can prevent canal boats from running once the bascule bridge is back in operation, which i highly doubt they will do. Currently, the Coast Guard has nothing to do with the canal boats because the canal areas are considered non-navigable (another act of Congress).

As for the Godspeed (thanks for remembering the name!), they are hoping to bring it into the actual city dock area, but it remains to be seen if it will happen or not. The Annabelle Lee's former dock is only a backup.

You certainly are knowledgeable on the ins and outs of our waterways, but I submit that serious consideration should be given to ideas expressed here and elsewhere by those who will determine future canal development.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I can personally assure you that it is and will! ;)

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I can personally assure you that it is and will!  ;)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

That's great to hear! I'll hold you to it! :) You know, I really don't understand how the canal and canal boats traveling from byrd park to great shiplock park affect the railroads. Man what a destination it would be having it extended like that...anyone know when the eastern canal extension is supposed to begin? It's supposed to be finished by 2007 I thought.

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Pirate, old Chap, I believe the Coast Guard would (and has been) a force to deal with regarding JR&K canal - especially east of 17th street. The present motorized canal boats would, of course, be prohibited from using Great Ship Lock. That's why I suggested transfer to larger sea-worthy low-draught boats at 17th street. From that wharf, cruises could proceed on City Dock/Great Ship Lock/James River excursions passing enroute, incidentally, our row of Ship Shops. :lol:

As you say, if consideration is being given to opening the lock for a Goodspeed visit, surely it wouldn't be a one-time thing.

AND another thing!!! Is the James river bed so dangerously rocky that my low-draught boats, after negotiating the lock, could not proceed up-stream as far as I-95 bridge? Is the south side of Mayo Island more or less navigable than the north side? There used to be a boat club on Mayo's Island (south shore), but it may only have accommodated racing sculls. I keep thinking of the great skyline views a boat trip up-stream would provide.

Hope my persistence hasn't put you off. :)

Edited by burt

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:rolleyes: Coupe, do you think my obsession has taken this a little off-thread? After all, it's supposed to be about Vistas on the James. Edited by burt

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hahaha yea we have been a little off-topic. We could discuss it in RichmondDevelopments or the off-topic thread if you'd like. IT's been a good and informative discussion though!

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hahaha yea we have been a little off-topic. We could discuss it in RichmondDevelopments or the off-topic thread if you'd like. IT's been a good and informative discussion though!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

You're the editor, so it's your call. :silly:

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