Riverfront redevelopment update: Riverside Drive reopens, greenway section to open this year too

The latest riverfront development: Completion of the northern half of the French Broad River Greenway East is expected in late fall.

The latest riverfront development: Completion of the northern
half of the French Broad River Greenway East is expected in late fall. Scroll below for a map rendering of the River Arts District Transportation Improvement Project.


Last August, shovels turned dirt in a community kickoff for RADTIP, the City of Asheville’s most recent riverfront improvement project. This August, the City is working toward a late fall completion of the northern half of the French Broad River Greenway East.


That’s right, we anticipate opening the northern section of greenway and roadway — from the current Lyman Street/Riverside Drive intersection to just north of the railroad trestle bridge — this fall.


This week, the Riverside Drive lane closures at the railroad trestle come to an end. And, as construction to lower Riverside Drive at the railroad trestle wraps up, road work will shift elsewhere in the project. Look for a new traffic configuration around the 14 Riverside Drive Arts and Culture Center (now 8 River Arts Place) as the new road realignment is constructed.


That will be the next area where people will see work being done. Ultimately, a roundabout will inhabit that space to ease traffic flow in what has been a difficult intersection. The City is on schedule and within budget for the River Arts District Transportation Improvement Project (RADTIP).


More news!


Also this fall, the City will issue a call for artists to submit proposals to implement the Public Art Plan for the River Arts District.


At the Sept. 11 meeting, a proposal to rename a section of Riverside Drive (a remnant from the new traffic realignment) to River Arts Place will go before City Council.


The City has a partnership with A-B Tech to build bird and insect habitat boxes along the riverfront. This is part of an implementation piece of the newly created environmental sustainability plan for the river’s edge.


In partnership with GreenWorks, plans are taking shape for the installation of a large water quality educational sculpture at the new boat ramp near the Craven Street/Smith Bridge.


2019 to completion


Construction on the 5-points roundabout is expected to begin in late 2019.

Construction of the southern section of French Broad River East Greenway is scheduled for summer 2019.


The project will be completed by 2020. What will that look like? The 2.2-mile RADTIP corridor will enhance the existing Riverside Drive/Lyman Street corridor with roadway safety improvements, such as two planned roundabouts — including one at the five-points intersection of Lyman, Roberts and Depot streets and Clingman Avenue Extension. The project will incorporate bicycle and pedestrian facilities, on-street parking and a greenway as well as new and safer river access. It will include public art and historic interpretation of the region to strengthen the identity of the neighborhood. Stormwater management systems will be installed where none existed in the past.


When it’s completed the River Arts District Transportation Improvement Project will improve the way people move through the district and provide an environment for local business and development to thrive.


As we have throughout this project, City Staff continue to work with River Arts District businesses and residents and partner with organizations to share construction schedules and help facilitate communication that RAD studios and business are open and accessible during this construction period.


Keep up with this project by visiting the City’s Riverfront Redevelopment webpage.


View a detailed map rendering of the project at this link. (Note: Large file. Zoom in for project details once the map loads.)


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For questions on the ground, please contact Dustin Clemens, Innovation District Program Manager for Capital Projects, at