NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) – The City of Newport News hosted a groundbreaking event on Thursday for the James River Strand project in the newly-established Yard District.

According to a press release, The James River Strand Project includes improvements to Christopher Newport Park, and a multi-use connection to Victory Landing Park, which will allow guests closer access to the James River.

Plans for the project also include an outdoor amphitheater that will have terraced lawn seating, hardscape areas, lighting and electricity for small-scale performances and events.

“The James River Strand Project will transform the downtown waterfront in Newport News,” says McKinley L. Price, Newport News Mayor. “Residents and visitors will soon be able to enjoy unique entertainment while taking in the most spectacular views in Hampton Roads.  Additional park enhancements will help guests of all ages connect with nature and create lasting memories in our great city.”

This new project is the first component of the city’s Downtown Reimagined Plan, which is designed to leverage the downtown and waterfront areas for people to enjoy.

To accommodate the construction, Christopher Newport Park will remain closed for approximately one year and 26th street will be closed to vehicles and pedestrians from West Avenue to the end of the cul-de-sac.

Other city parks, including Victory Landing Park, will remain open through construction for visitors to enjoy.