Construction closes parts of Southbank Riverwalk

Mayor says $15M will be enough to complete project

By Jim Piggott - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Parts of the Southbank Riverwalk are now closed as workers begin demolishing it.

While the whole project will take a year, the city is still going to try to keep the old parts open for the Florida-Georgia game and other events.

"The citizens of Jacksonville deserve it. It's so important that we repair this, and I'm excited about the future," Mayor Alvin Brown said Thursday about the project.

Channel 4 has documented the Riverwalk's downfall in the last 13 years, but the city says it's safe enough to keep operating during reconstruction. The mayor believes $15 million that has been set aside is enough to complete the project.

DOCUMENT WITH IMAGES: Southbank Riverwalk gets overhaul

"Fifteen-million dollars I can say is right on target, but as others have said, there will bumps in the road," Brown said.

Some of those bumps include developers saying that amount will not be enough to complete the structure down by the Duval County School Board building.

"The recent push to sort of get the project to go, when we went back to the market to get pricing, it isn't what it was two and a half years ago when it included that last little stretch," said Charlie Rochelea, of the Haskel Company.

The new Riverwalk will be a concrete structure, including the pilings that go into the river. They will also have floating docks to make boating easier. The first part of construction will take place near the Main Street Bridge, with the building coming down. Then, workers will move from the Wyndham Jacksonville Riverwalk hotel toward Main Street.

The water taxis will continue to operate during construction.

Once demolition is complete, construction is set to begin Dec. 2. The completion date is set for Sept. 14, 2014.

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