RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — In a year of reckoning over the subject of race, a stretch of highway in Richmond under the name of the confederacy’s only president will bear a new label.
Monday night, city council members voted unanimously to rename a roadway formerly known as Jefferson Davis Highway. US Route 1 will now become Richmond Highway.
All members of council gave the OK, including Vice President Chris Hilbert.
“I have indicated that these statues, and now we are talking about streets, should never be in the public square in the first place. And so I am glad to see we’re moving forward and changing this name,” Hilbert said.
Just this summer, The Richmond branch of NAACP was at the forefront to remove Jeff Davis’ name from RVA intersections.
“We need some TLC or some ‘tender love and care’ on Jefferson Davis Highway,” said J.J. Minor, President of the Richmond branch of the NAACP.
The signage change will be from where the highway meets Hull Street, down to its intersection with Walmsley Boulevard.
Just last year, Northern Virginia’s Arlington moved to rename Jefferson Davis Highway to Richmond Highway. Now, the capital city will share similar signage.
Jim Gooden, who spoke during public comment, says he wants city council to go father in the future.
“I do think that the city council should consider renaming the other streets that were named after Confederate generals,” Gooden said.
According to the legislation council passed, the city’s chief administration officer will begin moving forward with the process to erect signs, where needed.
A timeline on when the work will begin and end is not immediately known, nor is the final price tag.
In June, a high-ranking city official told 8News a rough cost estimate to replace signage for the highway could run anywhere between $380,000 and $500,000; although those figures combine the expense for the city, state and federal government to make signage alterations.
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