Augusta, GA (WJBF) – It’s been a part of downtown Augusta for nearly 30 years now, but the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) really wants Riverwalk to stand out.
“We want to showcase the Riverwalk it’s our downtown green space we want people to know it’s there and we want it to be highly visible,” said Downtown Development Authority executive director Margaret Woodard.
The DDA shared its big plans for Riverwalk with Augusta Commissioners. To improve visibility, the plan calls for two gateway arches off on Reynolds Street, at a cost of $500,000, to let visitors know the park is there.
“What we love about there is that they will be lit at night and be visible from Broad Street. It kind of brings the river to Broad Street,” said Woodard.
The DDA is also proposing a new walking trail at the west side of Riverwalk and for the upper level, three shade areas to get visitors out of the sometimes blazing sun.
“The enhancements they want to do can coincide with events we can put in the amphitheater, events we can put on the Riverwalk. [The] bottom line, it’s going to bring more people down there,” and Augusta Recreation and Parks Department director Glenn Parker.
The enhancements would be paid for with $1 million in sales tax money allotted to the DDA.
Commissioners must approve the final plans, but they see it as a way to enhance work that’s already planned for Broad Street, like the James Brown statue project.
“We’re doing some work downtown already and they’re doing some work for us. Hopefully what they’re doing will match what we’re trying to do, so it all coincides together. I think it’s going to be good,” said Commissioner Marion Williams.
The Augusta Commission’s Public Services Committee approved the plans, which will allow the DDA to move forward with final designs of the proposal, which the commission will also have to approve. Woodard believes all the work should be completed by next year.