West Columbia Riverwalk repair schedule announced
Are you ready to see West Columbia’s Riverwalk repaired?
City leaders are working on a plan and have a schedule to fix the popular trail that runs along the west bank of the Congaree River, with work to begin before the end of this year.
The Riverwalk was damaged in the October 2015 floods. Part of a Riverwalk boardwalk, which runs under the Gervais Street Bridge, was washed out. It was the bridge that connected the north end of the path that is accessible at Moffatt Street, just off of Sunset Boulevard. The two links of the park are open but not connected.
In the last 13 months, the city has waited to get permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
At a West Columbia City Council meeting last month, West Columbia Public Works Director Jamie Hook said repair of the boardwalk and another section of Riverwalk near the houses of Congaree Park would be completed by April. Repair of a section of the trail closer to Cayce is scheduled to be completed in May.
West Columbia City Council on Tuesday approved a contract with AOS Specialty Contractors Inc. for the FEMA Riverwalk Repair Project. The Amount of the contract is $270,811.
Hook said work to repair the Riverwalk would begin in December.
Since the flood, the Riverwalk has been open, but use of the path has been limited. The Greater Cayce-West Columbia Chamber of Commerce has been able to maintain a schedule of Rhythm on the River Concerts in the spring and fall of 2016.
Gregg Pinner, chamber president and CEO, said he has not seen a drop off in concert audience numbers but that he is anticipating access to the whole Riverwalk trail being restored.
“We’ve had good crowds for the concert series in the spring and fall,” Pinner said.
He said the concert audience is contained in the Riverwalk Amphitheater and that vendors set up in the park’s parking lot.
“But it will feel good next season to have all of Riverwalk open,” Pinner said. “The sooner we can put the flood damage behind us, the better.”