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Alexandria renames Jefferson Davis Highway to Richmond Highway

The Alexandria City Council unanimously and finally decided Saturday to rename Jefferson Davis Highway to Richmond Highway, after three years of discussion. The name change will take place Jan. 1.

The name of the road, also known as U.S. Route 1, has long irritated many in the liberal town but it took the Charleston church shooting in 2015 for the council to start the process. It will cost the city $27,000 to change the signs, and the portion of the road that splits into Patrick and Henry streets will not be renamed. A community task force unanimously recommended the name Richmond Highway, from among hundreds of suggestions, because that is what the road is called in adjacent Fairfax County.

Arlington County’s portion of the road remains named after the Confederate president. The county does not have the legal authority to change the name on its own but if the General Assembly were to clear a name change, county officials have indicated they would go along with whatever Alexandria chose.

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