This bridge provides you with a view of that city that is damn near impossible to have from any other location in the city.
This view is impossible to access that point of the river by any method other than kayak, floats, and sometimes paddle boards. This new bridge provides you with a dominating view of the city. It is impossible to look at the skyline from this point of view without feeling a little bit smaller than you really are. I don’t mean that in a bad way, the power of our big little city is just on full display.
The Potterfield Memorial Bridge took years to be completed. This area has been revered for decades by many people. The potential has been noticed by many important people in our history. The late Floyd Gottwald of Ethyl Corp. saw potential in the ruinous Tredegar Ironworks. State Sen. Eugene Sydnor and his wife, Lucy, quixotically led efforts to save the James River and Kanawha Canal. And Bill Abeloff saw gold in Tobacco Row. Later, U.S. Rep. Thomas Bliley delivered federal funding for historic preservation and flood walls, and environmentalist Ralph White, businessman Brent Halsey and urban planner Rachael Flynn remained clear-eyed advocates for intelligent development.
Potterfield represents the first element of the current downtown riverfront plan that was developed by the talented and experienced firm of Hargreaves Associates of Cambridge, Massachusetts. This will help connect the downtown scene to the newly developed areas on the Manchester side of The James.
The roar of the rapids overtop of the old Hydroelectric dam is loud enough so that you don’t forget you are a few feet over the way. It’s not too loud to have a romantic walk across the bridge or a nice peaceful run by yourself to relieve stress. Check out our video tour on the Potterfield Memorial Bridge below.