Columbus Council moves forward with Riverwalk redevelopment, zip -, GA News Weather & Sports

Columbus Council moves forward with Riverwalk redevelopment, zip line on the way


From reopening roads to a possible zip line, Columbus City Council shows no signs of slowing down when it comes to developing the Chattahoochee River into the main attraction.

Council approved two land deals Tuesday they said would benefit everyone with little cost to taxpayers.       

In a unanimous vote, councilors approved the exchange of land with W.C Bradley Company. The city will swap property located between 11th street and Bay Avenue in exchange for a little over one acre of property on the 1300 block of Front Avenue.

Officials say the area near the 14th Street Pedestrian Bridge will cost taxpayers very little and it will address some city concerns.

"It gives us an opportunity to address a public safety issue, improve traffic flow in the future in the uptown area, and it also promotes economic development. We feel like this is a win, win," Columbus Deputy City Manager David Arrington said.

Arrington claimed large crowds gathering on The Riverwalk has been a safety concern due to how close the crowds get to the embankment.  

The area would be opened to traffic and used for special events.  W.C. Bradley Company is expected to expand the Riverclub's dining facility.

Council also approved a land lease agreement with UpTown Whitewater Management LLC to set up shop on the intersection of 11th Street and Bay Avenue.

"That will be the location of the zip line attraction. The tower and maybe some other activities."

Elizabeth Hurt of Uptown Incorporated explained the two parallel 1200 foot zip lines will fly people across the Chattahoochee River at speeds up to 40 miles per hour.

Arrington claimed the city will make money and tax payers will pay very little for the redevelopment plans.

"The Front Ave, 1300 block will generate about $2,100 a year, paid in property taxes," Arrington said. "This other property given it's River front value would generate, approximately a $1500 to $1700 per year."

Amid city financial woes it's money that's needed. Mayor Teresa Tomlinson explained the city is in the hole, deep.

"We have already cut checks and sent them out for $1.5 million in excess of what we have in that account," Mayor Tomlinson reported.

That's just for healthcare cost, Mayor Tomlinson said the city will end the current fiscal year with a $6.5 million deficit. 

The projects are expected to take one to three years to complete.

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