Council changes river project

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 2, 2007

DEMOPOLIS &8212; The Riverwalk Project, formerly known as the Arch Street Project, has taken a change.

Following a public hearing on at the Oct. 5 council meeting, councilmen accepted a new proposal that did away with courtesy docks originally planned for the project.

The Riverwalk Project site begins at US Highway 43 and will run along side the east banks of the Tombigbee River to the entrance of the Botanical Gardens. The walk will be 4,875 feet long and 10 feet wide, and is to be used by pedestrians and bicyclists.

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According to Vickie Taylor, the walkway needs renovation and the city has made it a top priority of continuing the progress associated with that area.

Construction of this project was first envisioned in the city&8217;s Strategic Plan as a &8220;Quality of Life&8221; mission statement to maintain and protect those areas of Demopolis that have significant historical value. Local organizations, such as the Marengo Historical Society, City of Demopolis Beautification Commission and the Demopolis Area Chamber of Commerce have endorsed this project as one that will compliment the ongoing efforts and commitment to restoring the historic business district.

Riverwalk is to be located along the White Bluffs, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. It was dedicated to the public in June 1819 when the city plans for Demopolis were first adopted. This location was the site for much of the early commercial activity in Demopolis and included facilities for loading and unloading cargoes of cotton, timber and other products, facilities for passengers and for local ferry operations.

The project will cost an estimated $500,000. These new improvements are meant to not only restore the historic business district but to attract more waterway related recreation and tourism activities.

According to Donald Waldon, administrator for the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway Development Authority, the Tenn-Tom waterway attracts nearly 3 million visitors each year.