Lit archways, splash pad proposed for Riverwalk Augusta

 

 

Five new projects, including lit archways, a splash pad and a walking loop, could be coming to Riverwalk Augusta.

During Thursday’s Downtown Development Authority meeting, Executive Director Margaret Woodard outlined new projects that would help connect the riverwalk with the rest of downtown. The DDA has $1 million in previous special purpose local option sales tax funds designated for the 1.2-mile riverwalk.

At the suggestion of architectural and environmental design firm Cooper Carry, the following projects were pegged for the riverwalk: a lit wrought iron and brick arch at both Reynolds and Eighth streets and Reynolds and 10th streets, redevelopment of the playground behind St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, a nearby splash pad, a walking loop behind the Augusta Marriott at the Convention Center, and extra lighting and beautification in the area surrounding Unisys’ new home at Discovery Plaza.

The total projected cost is estimated at $1.7 million, Woodard said.

“We’ve got $1 million,” she said. “It’ll just be a matter of looking for other funds, federal grants or just picking and choosing what those projects are.”

The goal is to get started in January, and many of the projects should not take more than 90 days to complete, Woodard said.

She said that before any work is done, the city’s recreation, parks and facilities department and the Augusta Canal Authority will be consulted to ensure they are on the same page.

“This is just the start,” Woodard said. “The bigger picture is to connect across the river, connect into Olde Town.”

Last year, a subcommittee was formed to help the DDA identify projects that would improve the city’s two-level riverfront property. The DDA and the subcommittee, consisting mostly of downtown stakeholders, decided that devoting the $1 million to projects to leave a long-lasting impression on the riverwalk would be better than using the funds for maintenance purposes, which could be handled by other city departments.

The DDA board approved a contract earlier this year with Cooper Carry for advice on how best to spend the $1 million allocation from the special sales tax. The national firm is also working to create a downtown concept plan using sales tax funds, including money from the Transportation Investment Act.

 

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