Radford receives grant aiding in revitalization project

Published: Sep. 28, 2022 at 2:34 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 28, 2022 at 2:35 PM EDT
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RADFORD, Va. (WDBJ) - Radford is receiving a grant worth $700,000 from the Appalachian Regional Commission to help with a project connecting the New River to East Main Street.

“We want to provide quality of life not only for our residents and community members, but we also want to attract people to come and visit here,” Radford’s Director of Communications Jenni Goodman said.

The funds will be used for a trail to allow people to safely travel from the water to the downtown area.

“Not really having that business or downtown connection to our river and ability to access that easily from downtown is something we’ve been lacking,” Goodman said.

Attracting more businesses to the city is part of the E. Main St. revitalization plan. Having the connecting trail from the water to downtown can provide a boost to those businesses.

“People can go and maybe get a cup of coffee or breakfast, and then maybe walk the trail, walk down visit, enjoy the river way, and all that our parks have to offer, and then come back up, grab lunch, shop, and see everything else we have to offer, so it provides a day of activity for not only our residents, but those visiting,” Goodman said.

“I think it’s what puts Radford on the map,” Radford’s Director of Economic Development and Tourism Kimberly Repass said. “It’s going to make Radford the destination where people can come down and enjoy themselves for a day. Enjoy a concert, enjoy a festival, catch a movie, and then take that walk downtown to visit is what we’ve been excited to happen here in Radford.”

Work on the trail is expected to start in the spring of 2023 and the the efforts to spruce up East Main Street are ongoing.

“Now is the right time to start opening those businesses in Radford,” Repass said. “We are making those changes. We are making those public space improvements and this is the right time to jump on because downtown Radford will be different.”