Southbank Riverwalk construction set to begin

Project should be complete by next summer


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Demolition on the Southbank Riverwalk is set to begin in September, and construction of a new structure is expected to be complete by next summer.

Channel 4 has been showing residents the problems with the Riverwalk for more than 13 years, and now the wooden structure will only be around for a short while longer.

Those who use the Riverwalk every day say it's about time changes took place.

DOCUMENT WITH IMAGES: Southbank Riverwalk gets overhaul

For the most part, it will be a concrete structure from Friendship Fountain to the Duval County School Board building.

"I think it is a good idea," Carla Deeds said. "It's time it needs to be restructured, and with the concrete it will be a good improvement."

The problems with the Riverwalk have been well-documented, from broken planks to unsafe wiring and even structural problems underneath.

"We are tying up the loose ends," city spokesman David DeCamp said. "This is the normal contracting and subcontracting problems. Haskel has guaranteed a maximum price of $15 million, so they will begin work and about a year from now they should have a new Southbank Riverwalk."

The one hiccup in the plan is the area in front of the Crowne Plaza Jacksonville-Riverfront, where the city has not been able to come to an agreement yet to replace the Riverwalk. So it will keep that part the same and will repair it with wood.

"We still think we can reach a solution to have a full concrete base Riverwalk with inlayed brick pavers and a nice way to see and experience the river," DeCamp said.

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