County leaders, community members and representatives of the companies that performed the work walked the new sidewalk along Crozet Avenue in a bitter wind Nov. 20 and held a small ceremony in front of the library to mark the completion of the project.
County transportation engineer Jack Kelsey reminded his listeners that the kick-off event for the project was held Sept. 20, 2007.
“It’s been worth it,” he said, pointing to a new pedestrian environment in downtown, a better street—with storm drains—for all users, a landscaped and more beautiful street (now without utility poles), and a street that should help attract new business investment downtown.
“It is a narrow corridor to work in and we wanted to save the unique characteristics of Crozet,” he said. He thanked local property owners who cooperated in providing easements for the project, which had a total cost of $5 million, he said.
Project engineer Brian McPeters of Kimley-Horn Associates in Richmond said, “It returns Crozet to what it was 60 years ago. It’s really come to fruition. It’s about creating a sense of place, and life, and attracting business downtown. This is my favorite project of my 13-year career.”
County Executive Tom Foley said the project was “the culmination of the remaking of Crozet,” a series of public projects, including the new Crozet Library, that the county had tagged “Destination Crozet.”
“This community was chosen to go first in master planning and not just to plan, but to realize it,” he said. He credited Crozet citizens with raising more than $1 million to furnish the new library and build its collection. “It’s a partnership that makes a difference,” he said.
Foley presented White Hall District Supervisor Ann Mallek with a brass plaque bearing her name that will be mounted on the street bench in front of the library to mark her perseverance in supporting the projects.