AUGUSTA, GA (WJBF)— Soon you will be able to walk a little farther up the Savannah River with ease.
Crews are clearing the way for an extension to the Augusta Riverwalk. Right now, the paved section of the Riverwalk stops in between 10th and 11th Streets. Later this year, the Riverwalk will go to 13th Street.
The 3-block addition is part of the Cyber Innovation and Training Center construction, meaning the state of Georgia is paying for it. The city of Augusta is paying to remove the trees and then the state is paying for the rest. The state-run Georgia Technology Authority tells NewsChannel 6, the project costs $850,000. They also say, the new section will follow the same style as the rest of the Riverwalk terms of lighting, railings and benches.
It seems as though everyone is in favor of the construction. If anyone would be opposed, it would be conservation groups so we checked with a couple to see what they think.
Tonya Bonitatibus with Savannah Riverkeeper says, while it is sad to see the trees come down, they are in full support of using the levees for trails.
Hazel Cook is the Executive Director of the Central Savannah River Land Trust whose mission is to connect people to nature. Cook has worked hard to increase our local access to greenspace.
“If you have to remove a few trees to put in a path so that people can safely get where they need to go and access the river and have a better quality of life, that’s what we need to do,” Cook says.
Cook says the new Riverwalk addition is just a small section; however, it is a key piece for the overall puzzle.
“We have more than 150 miles of trails…This is sort of a meeting of the minds between the Riverwalk and all of the trails that the Augusta Canal Trail is doing. Those two will connect down through the levee down to Lock and Dam Park and to the airport; all the way up Butler Creek through South Augusta; looping back around Fort Gordon and into Grovetown; Euchee Creek Greenway, all the way back down to the head-gates; back downtown—150 miles of trail,” Cook describes.
The Riverwalk expansion is expected to be finished by July 10th of 2018, which is also the projected finish date for the first phase of the Cyber Innovation and Training Center.