Action News has learned there isn’t enough money to complete work on the Riverwalk.
But councilman John Crescimbeni found out Wednesday that there’s a problem.
“This one takes the cake,” said Crescimbeni.
There isn’t enough money in the budget to rebuild the entire stretch from Friendship Fountain to the Southbank. “What they’re … going to do is demolish all of it and only rebuild a portion of it. That’s one of the wackiest things I’ve ever heard,” said Crescimbeni.
During the Project Kick-off ceremony I had heard some mumblings that there may be a money shortfall however I was under the impression that the money for the full project had been allocated at one time.
If that is true then what happened to the funds that were allocated for the Southbank Riverwalk project originally and if not why was this not made clear from the start? There does not appear to be any mention of lack of funds in the original announcements?
A City spokesman, according to the Action News story today, claims this was discussed back in August or September however there certainly is no mention of this in the original announcements that I can find…
I visited the area this past Friday and the demolition is well on track as the second building at the foot of the Main Street Bridge has all but been removed and it appears that portions of the Riverwalk are now being removed.
I urge everyone to contact their City Council Member and the Mayor and impress upon them how important it is to complete the Southbank Reconstruction in it’s entirety.
Looks like the Southbank Riverwalk Reconstruction is finally getting back on track this week…
From the Public Affairs Office City of Jacksonville, FL
JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Feb. 3, 2014– The Southbank Riverwalk Project demolition will continue the week of Feb. 3, with the removal of the remaining structures of the former Maritime Museum, located adjacent to Friendship Fountain. The subsequent demolition of the pavilion and former Jacksonville Historical Society building will take place in several overlapping phases with sections of the Riverwalk being demolished and re-built. In the interest of public safety and construction access, mostof the Riverwalk will be inaccessible for several months at a time during the phases of construction. Expected project completion is December 2014.
The new Riverwalk construction will consist of the following:
·Approximately 3,000 linear feet of new pre-cast concrete piles and decking
·Approximately 53,000 square feet of colored brick pavers on top of a pre-cast concrete deck.
·5,600 linear feet of new steel guardrails along the entire stretch of new boardwalk
·New light poles with energy-efficient LED lighting
·New in-ground lighting, new steel benches, trash receptacles, pet stations, flagpoles, bike racks and new drinking fountains
Rick Sawyer from the City of Jacksonville Recreation department contacted me this morning with the Holiday Schedule for Friendship Fountain for 2013.
Patriotic Music and Light show nightly from Nov 6, 2013 to Nov 12, 2013 in Honor of the Week of Valor andVeterans Day.
Holiday Music and Light Show will start on Nov 26, 2013 and run until Dec 30, 2103
New Years Music and Light Show Dec 31, 2013
I am waiting for confirmation for the scheduled hours however in past years the Music and Light show usually starts around 7 to 8 PM ET and runs until 10 PM ET…
Edit… Rick Sawyer just got back to me about the hours for the Music programs and they are running from 8:30 AM ET until 11 PM ET daily, which means Music is playing all day and the lights will show as soon as it becomes dark.
We also need you to be our eyes and ears and if you are at the Fountain during the times scheduled for the Music and Light program and it isn’t running please let us know so we can pass it on to the City.
I received confirmation from Will Inman, the Project Manager from the Haskel Co, that the Southbank Riverwalk will remain open until after the Florida – Georgia game on Saturday November 2, 2013.
Starting November 4, 2013 demolition of the Southbank Riverwalk will commence starting on the eastern most end, in front of the Duval County School Board building, working Westward in sections, to the Main Street Bridge.
We will be adding pictures of the demolition progress as we can, much of the work will actually be done from the River, throughout the project.
The first step of the Southbank Riverwalk Reconstruction is deconstruction or demolition and the first to go is the building that sat at the Foot of the Main Street bridge on the west side, the Former home to the Jacksonville Maritime Museum, which is now located in the Jacksonville Landing.
Above shows the dramatic difference with the removal of the building.
As a result of completion of this step the Southbank Riverwalk has been reopened to foot traffic from Friendship Fountain. The next step should be the demolition of the building on the east foot of the Main Street Bridge. I am unsure of the plans for the next step which will be the removal of the building on the East foot of the Main Street Bridge, due to promises to have the Riverwalk open during the Florida – Georgia and Gator Bowl games…
Some additional images of the various steps in the removal of the former Maritime Museum building are below as well in albums in the JaxFountain Image gallery.
The view from the Main Street Bridge has already changed as a result of the removal of this piece of the Riverwalk landscape…
This is a great time to visit Friendship Fountain, the temperatures are cooling but it is warm enough for a very nice afternoon picnic or just a stroll. And on Friday evenings the Fountain is Dressed in Teal to show support for our Jaguars. So please stop on by anytime and enjoy a pleasant afternoon or evening at Friendship Fountain.
The demolition of the former Maritime Museum is moving right along and soon the view of the Southbank Riverwalk will change for all time…
The upper level skin has been removed and the front of the building has all but been removed.
Once the Former Maritime Museum is removed work will begin on the building on the east side of the bridge and once completed the Riverwalk will be opened back to traffic until after the Florida – Georgia game
Former Maritime Museum – Viewed from the Main Street Bridge
We will be adding pictures of the progress in the Southbank Riverwalk reconstruction over time and those can be viewed here.
While I was down taking these pictures I took some time to walk around Friendship Fountain and I am pleased to report that a little over 2 years has passed since the Fountain Refurb and the Fountain and Park both look in very good shape.
I also couldn’t help but notice that even on a 90 degree afternoon it was quite pleasant under the trees adjacent to the Pergola.
This afternoon at the foot of Friendship Fountain and the Southbank Riverwalk Mayor Alvin Brown announced the “Kick Off” of the long awaited reconstruction of the Southbank Riverwalk.
Chief Administrative Officer Karen Bowling, Councilman Don Redman, Haskell Representatives as well as other City and Construction representatives were all present. Unfortunately our Summer Florida skies
delivered some “Liquid Sunshine starting immediately before the ceremonies, ending almost on cue when completed, yours truly was soaked and many were scrambling to protect sensitive equipment.
I did get to meet Will Inman the Haskell Project Manager for the Southbank Reconstruction project. Will was kind enough to indicate that JaxFountain.com will have as much access as possible (much of the project will be completed from the water) to document progress of this all important project.
Phase One will be the demolition of the former home to the Maritime Museum, now located at The Jacksonville Landing (next to the Toy Factory).
Currently the Southbank Riverwalk is closed from Friendship Fountain to just past the Main Street Bridge underpass, for safety reasons during the demolition of the two Buildings at the foot of the Main Street Bridge. This area is to be reopened to the public once Phase One is completed. The remainder of the Riverwalk remains open to traffic at this time.
We will be posting updates and pictures as the project moves along and by next week hope to have additional images. More information regarding the reconstruction of the Southbank Riverwalk can be seen at the following links: Jacksonville.com COJ.net
Until next time,
Psst… Mayor Brown was very prompt and “On time” unlike recent holders of that office 😉
13 years ago today I was lucky enough to get married at Friendship Fountain… That little one (Our youngest) is 16 now and as tall as I am 😉
I was lucky on so many fronts… Married at my favorite place in the City of Jax, Married on my Favorite Holiday, Married in Jeans ;)… It just goes on.
Unfortunately we will not be able to visit this year but I know that those that get the chance to view the Fireworks from Friendship Fountain will have about the best seats in the City and we hope that some of you will take some pictures and share them with everyone by sending some our way to be added to the Friendship Fountain Image Gallery.
Here is one that was contributed by Dan Morris…
If you are a frequent visitor you may note we have updated the Friendship Fountain Image Gallery, same pictures but a more modern and fresh presentation. We will be updating the web site itself as well in the next few days and hope you will visit often.
Selene and I wish everyone a very Happy and Safe Fourth of July and hope that many of you will get a chance to visit our favorite place!