As part of a regional character and economic development initiative, Chroma Design is working with four ‘Southside’ municipalities and a private foundation to design four new community gateways. The historic University Boulevard site sits on the south bank of the Appomattox River and Virginia State University (VSU) is located on a hill above. Several enormous concrete trestles remain on the property from a former elevated railroad. This gateway design maintains the historic trestles and honors the axis they create by formalizing it with a wide public promenade that ties the street to the river and VSU beyond. The grand pathway leads to a future suspension bridge that will provide a connection to VSU and a future regional trail as well as a spectacular view of the river below. Light towers are added to the central portion of the site to balance the spacing between trestles and artist Dan Corson has proposed an interactive color light show to animate the trestles, light towers, and pedestrian lights. He has also proposed enhancing the daytime view by adding exciting decorative designs to each trestle’s archway.
Chroma Design is leading a design team that includes: