The Crater Region

The Crater Planning District straddles the Fall Line, the geological divide that restrains the inland flow of ocean tide, with the western portions of Dinwiddie and Greensville counties in the Piedmont Plateau and the remaining area in the Coastal Plain. Elevations range from 400 feet in the west to less than 100 feet above sea level in the east. Some of the low-lying areas are swampy. The area's rivers have played a role in its development; Petersburg, a river port throughout the nineteenth century, was settled at the point where the Appomattox River crosses the Fall Line, and Hopewell, just downstream, is at the confluence of the Appomattox and the James. Surry, across the James River from Jamestown, was settled concurrently with Jamestown.

Interstate 95 is the principle highway in the Crater Planning District. It bisects the planning district, connecting it with Richmond to the north and with North Carolina to the south. I-295, which begins north of Richmond and goes through Hopewell to Petersburg, provides an alternative to I-95. In addition, Interstate 85 originates in Petersburg and slants southwest through Dinwiddie County into North Carolina. U.S. 460 connects the Petersburg area with Norfolk and the ports of Hampton Roads and U.S. 58 passes through Emporia along the state's southern border. Petersburg is a rail center where several lines converge from the southeast, south and southwest before proceeding north to Richmond. Four general aviation airports serve the Crater Planning District Commission; the Chesterfield County Airport, the Greensville-Emporia Airport, the Petersburg Municipal Airport and the Wakefield Airport. The Richmond International Airport is located a short distance to the north of the planning district.

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