Phase I of Riverwalk nearing completion

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 19, 2007

DEMOPOLIS &8212; After securing both city and grant funds, construction on the first phase of the Riverwalk Project is nearing completion, with citizens already making use of some features.

Mayor Cecil P. Williamson explained the project will have several phases, but currently there is no definite number for how many phases the project will entail.

The first phase is being completed in part with funds from a Department of Transportation community enhancement grant. These grants work on a cycle time frame, and the city cannot apply for another grant until the first grant-funded phase is completed.

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The first phase includes all the improvements from Highway 43 entering Demopolis from Green County up until the water tower near the riverbank of the Tombigbee River. In addition to new sidewalks, benches and lighting, one of the main components for the first phase is to relocate the existing boat ramps to the north side of the city landing. Cardwell Corporation, which is the project&8217;s contracting company, will then construct two additional boat launches.

Construction of the sidewalks for phase 1 are complete, and dredging and other work for the boat launches are expected to resume soon, after taking a hiatus for the Christmas on the River week.

As far as long term planning, Williamson said other phases will include different aspects of the project, which is expected to extend well beyond the Demopolis Civic Center along the river. One of those projects may be moving the water tower, which has been in its current spot since 1901.

When asked about other structures in the same vicinity, such as the tennis courts, the mayor explained those would be integrated into the project, which is intended as an all-encompassing city park for walking and exercising.