Riverwalk to undergo major changes

AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - Changes are coming to the Augusta Riverwalk soon thanks to a portion of money from SPLOST 6. The Downtown Development Authority, or DDA, has total of $1 million to split up into two phases to help rebuild the image of the Riverwalk.

"The Riverwalk is a gem to this city," says Al Dallas, the executive assistant to the Augusta Mayor.

The first half of the million  dollars can be used now, and the rest can be used starting in 2016 for projects to help bring people back to the river.

"This is a very important SPLOST project, and one of the reasons that we need to make certain that we're getting a final product that everyone in Augusta is very proud of and happy with the results," says Dallas. 

The DDA is looking for input from the public, so we found out what changes people would like to see.

Emily Williamson rides bikes with her family along the Riverwalk, and wants to see changes focused on keeping people safe.

"Well it's kinda scary whenever it gets dark. There's not a lot of lighting down here so we can't really stay out late and ride our bikes, so it'd be awesome to have more lights down here and more guardrails up," she says. 

"I think if there's more security just parading on bicycles or even on foot, we've not seen any patrolling taking place recently so that certainly can help," says downtown resident Hari Haran Viswanathan

Williamson says she would also like to see the Jessye Norman Amphitheater used more.

"We should really get some more events down here. A lot more people a lot more concerts and everything and just really bring back the nightlife and make it safe for everybody," she says. 

With plans starting to take place, the DDA and the planning committee are looking forward to the results.

"My hope and plan is that once this money is spent, we've got something for all of Augusta to be happy with," says Dallas.

If you would like to add input for potential Riverwalk changes, you can contact the mayor's office at 706-821-8133 or the DDA at 706-722-8000.

Copyright 2014 WFXG. All rights reserved.