Riverwalk repairs could be 2 years off

Some suggest tearing down, not replacing Southbank Riverwalk

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Southbank Riverwalk is one of the best views the city has to offer, but some say a stroll down the 27-year-old boardwalk can be dangerous.

If you take a closer look, you can see why. There are uneven and broken panels of wood and nails either sticking out or missing altogether.

Barricades along the Riverwalk have been up for months because parts of it are actually caving in. Parts of the Riverwalk have been braced and nailed in, which is why they're blocked off to the public.

Even though the city has $15 million set asside to replace the wooden Riverwalk with a concrete structure and work was scheduled to begin last summer, nothing is being done.

IMAGES: Riverwalk deteriorating

Mayor Alvin Brown's staff says the project could be delayed up to two years because there is concern the the repairs could disrupt businesses along the 1.2-mile Riverwalk.

"We are trying to address their concerns," said Paul Crawford, of the Jacksonville Economic Development Commission. "As you get more details in design, they have issues with the detail and we have to make sure everybody is on the same page."

One of the options now on the table is to tear down the old Riverwalk and not replace it.

"That is the last resort and the last option we would like to consider, but that is a consideration," Crawford said.

Channel 4 has been documenting the problems with the Riverwalk for the last seven years. One Channel 4 investigation forced the city to shut it down and make repairs.

Many of the same structural problems were evident Friday. Some of the bolts under the Riverwalk that were recently replaced are already missing.

People who use the Riverwalk daily say something needs to be done.

"You can see the condition of it. It's not good," Effie Clark said. "It needs to be kept up a little better."

Copyright 2012 by News4Jax.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.