Southbank Riverwalk being torn down, won't be completed

Portion from Wyndham to School Board building won't be rebuilt

By Jim Piggott - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - This week, workers began tearing down some of Jacksonville's history.

The Southbank Riverwalk is being demolished, making way for a new, safer, concrete structure. However, the new Riverwalk will be a lot shorter than the current one.

The Riverwalk stretches from near Friendship Fountain at the Main Street Bridge over to the Duval County School Board building.

The problems with the Riverwalk have been well-documented for years, but there are parts of the structure that are not being replaced.

The plan four years ago was to use $15 million to build a whole new structure. But the city waited and now that money won't be enough to get the whole thing done.

The new Riverwalk will be 3,000 feet of concrete deck, new guardrails, lighting benches and pet stations, plus new floating docks.

It's something those who use it are looking forward to.

"It's a great way to spend your lunch, and the better shape this is in, the boardwalk, and then you can do it," Thomas Hilton said.

"I don't know what they are going to do, but hopefully it's going to be an improvement," Ashin Rardi said.

What many people don't realize is the part of the Riverwalk from the Main Street Bridge to the Wyndham Jacksonville Riverwalk, which is halfway, will be redone. The part from the Wyndam to the School Board building is not going to be completed because the city is running out of money.

That section will be torn down, but nothing will be built in its place.

There is another portion that won't change. The city never did come to an agreement with the owner of the Crowne Plaza Jacksonville-Riverfront, so the deck in front of it will remain wood.

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