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Richmond Will Rename Jefferson Davis Highway

Richmond City Council chambers
FILE PHOTO: Roberto Roldan/VPM

Jefferson Davis Highway will soon be renamed, as Richmond continues to remove public honors for Confederate leaders. 

Richmond City Council voted unanimously Monday night to change the name of U.S. Route 1 to Richmond Highway. The decision applies only to the portion of the road within city limits. The city also voted to permanently remove a statue to Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy, from Monument Avenue after protesters toppled it back in June.

Charles Willis, the president of the Jefferson Davis Neighborhood Association, told VPM earlier this year that he supports the name change. Willis added the name of the highway clashes with the character of the surrounding neighborhoods, largely comprised of Black and Latino residents. 

“As life changed in the Jeff Davis area, then there’s a need for change also,” he said. “This is not just the request of the Blacks in the neighborhood, it’s a request of the Hispanics as well. Even white business owners have written to us [in support].”

The only cost associated with the renaming will be replacing traffic signs along the highway. City officials estimate that to be around $40,000.


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