Phenix City is getting "Ready to Raft" - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Phenix City is getting "Ready to Raft"

By Taylor Barnhill  - bio | email | Twitter

PHENIX CITY, AL (WTVM) -  A $23 million project is coming to the Chattahoochee River and local cities are finding a way to be "Ready to Raft in 2012".

You may not see any ground breaking along the Chattahoochee River yet, but a lot of progress is being made on the white water rafting project.

Phenix City council member Jimmy Wetzel said, "I think the projected economic impact to the whole area is $42 million a year and certainly Phenix City is trying to position itself to get a part of that."

Many may ask... Who's footing the bill? River Restoration Project volunteer John Turner explained, "It's truly a public/private project. We have federal funds, we have state funding, we have private foundation funding, private corporate funding and we have individuals who have contributed to this project."

Right now the biggest part of the starting up the project is getting permits signed off.

"This permitting step takes an awful long time and we've been working on our permits for almost a year now and we're still not done yet. We want to make sure we contemplate everything we'd want to conceivably want to do so we don't have to back up and start back from the beginning," explained Turner.

The Chattahoochee River Restoration Committee introduced seven different construction access points including area bridges, portions of the Phenix City Riverwalk and at the Holland Creek bridge. But they promised whatever is damaged during the construction process will be fixed once it's complete."

Wetzel told News Leader Nine, "We want to be sure Phenix City is covered by bonds or by responsible parties who will be there at the end of this project so that everything is put back like it was to start with."

After turning in the plans, the next step is hiring a contractor for the white water rafting project. Organizers say that should be done by the end of December.


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