Madison riverfront project
adds overlooks, lengthens sidewalk

Future plans include bank
stabilization, sidewalk extension

By Konnie McCollum
Staff Writer

(August 2009) – It’s been a long drawn out process, but the Madison Riverfront Development Project is winding down its current phase of construction. Paddlewheel overlooks and the expansion of the sidewalk have been nearly completed in this $1 million phase of the project.

Riverfront Overlook

Photo by Don Ward

Paddlewheel-shaped overlooks
are among the new attractions
along Madison’s riverfront.

“We are excited about what has been completed,” said Jim Pruett, project president. “The grants we used for the funding moved the process slower than what some people wanted, but we are happy with the results.”
The sidewalks should be completed by September, he said.
The grants had a 20 percent matching funds requirement, so $200,000 had to be raised for the project, said Louann Waller, planning secretary for the city.
In the latest phase of the project, which has been ongoing for years, two paddlewheel overlooks made of concrete and red bricks were added to the sidewalk just east of the Milton-Madison Bridge and to the west at Vernon Street. The sidewalk was also extended eastward to the volleyball courts and westward to tie into the trailhead of the Heritage Trail.
New benches have also been purchased. Pruett said the new benches have a different design than the older ones. “We were looking for something that requires less maintenance and that would tie in with the design of the benches on Main Street.”
Trash receptacles have also been purchased.
An earth stabilization process east of the point at Lamplighter Park, part of the original design plan, played a large factor in the long delay of the project, he said. That design plan would have included a steel retaining wall with steel tie structures. The idea behind the design would be to create a green space with a terraced embankment for the enjoyment of walkway users. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had recommended the steel stabilization as a way to improve the look of the area.
“Costs kept increasing while the various layers of approval for the project were being sought,” said Pruett. “We plan to revisit the bank stabilization in future phases of the project.”
Other future project plans include expanding the sidewalk down to the city campgrounds. Right of way issues have to be resolved first, said Pruett.
Waller said the project is looking for dedicated volunteers who would like to be on the committee. She said anyone interested should send a letter to City Hall stating their desire to be on the board. “We’d love to have some new members,” she said.

Back to August 2009 Articles.



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