Northbank Riverwalk Collapses under weight of City's Incompetence

January 7, 2007 6 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Engineering consultants had marked the piers as structurally deficient in inspection reports dating back to 2002.

According to the Florida Times Union, Jacksonville city officials had been told since at least 2002 that they should take action to prevent the further deterioration of pilings and concrete beams under the Northbank Riverwalk near the Hyatt Regency.

Transportation department reports in 2002 and 2004 recommend that the city either repair pilings in the area or attach electrodes to the pilings to slow corrosion. And in 2003 and 2005, it was recommended that the city repair the concrete beams under the structure.

Structural reports had gone unread until bricks on the surface actually began separating.

Then, on December 28th 2006, a section of the piers collapsed, shutting down the riverwalk as well as Coastline Drive.

Acting as though this turn of events was all part of a master plan, Susie Wiles, the mayor’s spokeswoman, was quoted by the Times Union, “The city believes that the recommendation to slow the corrosion wasn't the most beneficial and instead wanted to take the time to find the best long-term fix.” She went on to say that the city disagreed with the recommendations and they would conduct their own inspection.

Apparently, the city determined the best long term fix was to ignore the problem. None of the recommendations were heeded, and as a result, the city now has an even more expensive public safety issue to resolve.“Marine inspection and maintenance is a costly and time-consuming process,” says Susie Wiles.

This is precisely the reason why the city should not be adding new parks to the already poorly maintained parks system.  

A crane rests on a barge alongside the troubled Northbank Riverwalk, waiting to make repairs.

In an effort to reduce the weight bearing down on the damaged piers, the landscaping is being removed.

A backhoe removes the Palm trees and dirt from the large riverwalk planters. 




The westbound lane of Coastline Drive, directly in front of the Hyatt Regency, is open to passenger vehicles.