Author Topic: Littlepage: Exciting riverwalk improvements planned  (Read 1563 times)

thelakelander

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Littlepage: Exciting riverwalk improvements planned
« on: August 05, 2007, 11:34:54 PM »
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Exciting riverwalk improvements planned

By RON LITTLEPAGE
The Times-Union

Let's take a break from gloom and doom and talk instead about something that's exciting.

The Northbank Riverwalk is already one of the jewels of Jacksonville. It's about to get even better.

Plans for the riverwalk have always included creating an "artists mall" under the Fuller Warren Bridge on weekends. But it seemed like a dream that kept getting shoved aside.

No more.

I spent part of one morning last week with Melody Bishop, an architect who worked on the riverwalk's design. She explained what's taking place.

Now that the demolition of the old Fuller Warren Bridge is complete, the area under the new bridge between the river and Riverside Avenue, which was used as a staging area for the demolition, can be reclaimed.

The Fidelity parking lot under the bridge was designed to accommodate booths for artists on weekends when the lot isn't used for employee parking.

The area between the parking lot and the river will be tied into the existing Northbank Riverwalk with landscaping, pavers and water features such as fountains. There will be a bandstand and public rest rooms.

All in all it should make a grand public gathering space.

Bishop said that bids are due in two weeks and construction should begin before the end of the year.

Also, the expansion of the riverwalk on the property behind the fire station on Forest Street that the city received in a land swap with Fidelity is about to begin.

That will provide additional parking for the Northbank Riverwalk as well as more open space.

But plans for additions don't stop there.

The vision for the Northbank Riverwalk also included connecting it to Riverside Park, which is adjacent to Five Points.

Bishop talked about how that will happen.

The Northbank Riverwalk will cross Riverside Avenue and continue under the Fuller Warren Bridge to Park Street.

That area also will be landscaped and additional water features will be added.

The awful retention ponds the state Department of Transportation left behind after the Fuller Warren was built will be turned into attractive assets instead of the eyesores they are today.

Now couple the Northbank Riverwalk improvements and additions with what's happening in nearby Brooklyn.

Spurred by development projects by Miles Development Partners and Hallmark Partners Inc., the city is planning to spend $21 million to replace the aging infrastructure in the area between Riverside Avenue and Park Street.

Included in that work is creation of a "Central Park" that will tie into McCoy's Creek and create additional public space.

Think back, say, 10 years ago where we were with public space and access to the river.

It may have been slow coming, but what we have now is vastly improved and it's only going to get better.

Thinking about that is better than gloom and doom any day.

ron.littlepage@jacksonville.com,

(904) 359-4284


This story can be found on Jacksonville.com at http://www.jacksonville.com/tu-online/stories/080507/opl_188876102.shtml.
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Skot David Wilson

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Re: Littlepage: Exciting riverwalk improvements planned
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2007, 06:20:54 AM »
I agree with Ron to a point... but Station Five I have some concerns over, as well as the dirty deal that was involved. I guess Littlepage hasd little sense in this area... Local history and historical sites are too few to bulldoze the past so wholesale....  but some people, I think including Littlepage, simply don't care about the past.
If Five is moved or lost it means that from any street to the river from the Fuller Warren to the Matthews that anything near the century mark vanishes. Yeah, Five has been modified... but you can feel the history, and PART oif that history HAS BEEN the modifications.
and OOOOOOOOOooooouuu, we get less than 30 spaces... for a brown bag private park for Fidelity and a few other nearby corporations, and a few Riverwalk runners and walkers...  Hey, Ron...are you in on the deal?
When we spoke you seemed to not even consider the aspect of historic preservation. Playing golf with the mayor or Fidelity lately?
http://SaveStationFive.blogspot.com
A "mall" isn't a gem, it's a mall.... and without a soul something gets lost. Station Five is part of the soul of this city, and to shuffel it off like they did when Three was moved to Kids Kampus, where if you don't know about it you totally miss it. Where it is Five can serve our kids, teaching them safety, and it can contiunue to enhance and save life, reminding and teaching us about our city, and teaching kids to respond to danger and emergencies.
You may not be as right as you always seem to think you are, at least not this time.
I more than often agree with you, but you are so far off on thisun....

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