Pedestrian Bridge to have $5 million renovation

By Taylor Barnhill  - bio | email

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -  More than $5 million is being put into a project that will change the face of a bridge between Columbus and Phenix City.

The 14th Street Bridge may not have held a car in close to ten years... But it has functioned as a connection between Columbus and Phenix City for those on foot. Now this cracked and worn bridge will soon have a brand new look.

Rick Jones with the Columbus Planning Department said, "This is a key piece of the puzzle in terms of making that whole area worthwhile and working."

But the city will first have to put their money to work for this upgrade to take place. Jones explained, "When the last round of stimulus funds came through, we allocated about $3.2 million to the bridge itself."

The remaining funds, $1.9 million, will come from the Georgia Department of Transportation along with a 20 percent match from the city of Columbus.

Jones told News Leader Nine some of the new enhancements will include new sidewalks, landscaping, and sitting areas along the bridge, "There will be areas on there what will have pockets, where you can have street vendors or other activities."

This two phase project will begin with the remodeling of the actual bridge followed by the addition of a plaza area on the Columbus side of the bridge.

"We've had to delay the RiverWalk from 13th to 14th. The reason we've done this is twofold. One, because of the staging of construction for the bridge but also because of the white water construction, they need a staging area as well," said Rick Jones.

Once construction is complete, Jones adds the bridge, the RiverWalk, and Trace Line Falls will all link up as walking points throughout the city, "You have the RiverWalk in play, you've got white water rafting, and then you add this bridge, which will become a community focal point. We think we'll see a lot of good things happen in that community."

Construction will kick off at the start of the spring and the entire project should be complete by the end of 2012.

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