Madison Riverfront

City of Madison secures stimulus
funds for the riverfront project

Steel pilings, tie rods to shore up
eroding bank along sidewalk

By Konnie McCollum
Staff Writer

The earth stabilization phase of the Madison Riverfront Development Project will finally get under way thanks to federal stimulus money secured by Mayor Tim Armstrong’s Administration.

Madison Riverfront Overlook

Photo by Don Ward

The last phase of the Madison
Riverfront Development project included
the addition of paddlewheel overlooks.

A grant totaling $837,000 was approved in December for the stabilization plans, which were part of the original design plan for the project. Erosion has damaged the bank just east of the point at Lamplighter Park. Budgeting issues forced the Madison Riverfront Development Committee to temporarily set aside the stabilization.
“Part of the conditions for this money was that projects were design-ready and sitting on a shelf waiting to go,” said committee chairman Jim Pruett. “Mayor Armstrong jumped on the chance to get this money, and we are thrilled the project will be completed.”
During the construction phase, part of the sidewalk will have to be torn up and replaced. Engineers are working to time so as not to interfere with the many festivals held at the riverfront, officials said.
Horizontal steel pilings, called deadmen, will be placed just north of where the existing sidewalk is situated. A sheet pile wall will then be anchored to the deadmen with tie rods. The steel support system should shore up and help reduce further erosion. Currently, large rocks and steel piping line the area, making it aesthetically unappealing.
“Once we get the stabilization done, we plan to continue our efforts to improve the riverfront for our community,” said Pruett.
In the last phase of the $1 million 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.
“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.”

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