Proposals to make Dogwood Memorial more accessible

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- The Charlottesville City Council listened to a working group’s proposed ideas on how to make the Dogwood Vietnam Veteran Memorial more accessible at Monday’s meeting.

The memorial is currently on top of a hill without nearby parking or a smooth path to get to the memorial, making it difficult for anyone to access but especially those who are disabled.

The group proposed a pedestrian bridge from a parking lot connecting to the memorial over John Warner Parkway. The lot would have 35 spaces. Members showed two ways the bridge can go over the busy road: diagonal connecting directly to the memorial, or straight across connecting to the bottom of the hill that people have to walk up to get to the memorial.

Bruce Eades, president of the Dogwood Vietnam Memorial Foundation and a member of the working group, said this idea would benefit the whole community.

"It not only gives us access to the memorial and parking, handicap parking,” said Eades. “It gives an entrance to the eastern park and for the Parks and Rec. It also gives an entrance to the trails."

The project will cost about $1.5 million. The city council decided that the decision would be better off made in a work session than on the spot, and the decision most likely won't fall on this current council.

"We've heard the discussion and it's probably going to be a work session probably the first quarter of next year versus with this council,” said Mayor Nikuyah Walker

Eades said he understands the council's decision but hopes something gets decided soon before it's too late for fellow Vietnam veterans to appreciate.

"Vietnam vets aren't getting any younger and we certainly like to be able to continue to go up to the memorial,” said Eades. "We call it the hill that heals and it really does."

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