City officials hire firm to design improvements for riverfront

Published 8:30 pm Wednesday, April 11, 2018

City officials have hired a New Orleans architectural firm to plan and design improvements to the Vicksburg riverfront.

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen Tuesday approved an $80,000 contract with Eskew Dumez Ripple to design the improvements to the riverfront to make it more appealing to residents and visitors.

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“That’s who the Riverfront Redevelopment Committee recommended,” Mayor George Flaggs Jr. said. He said the money for the contract will come out of a $300,000 allocation from the city’s second draw of capital improvement funds to the committee for the initial improvements. He said $50,000 of that $300,000 must go toward building a floating dock.

Under the contract, the improvements will be developed in two phases over three months. Flaggs said the second phase will be part of the game changer program he introduced at an April 5 public meeting.

Some of the scope of work includes repairs to the riverfront area, better lighting, benches, landscaping and planters, an art program with additional floodwall murals, a gazebo with covered seating, and directional signs.

The second phase of improvements will be based on the city’s comprehensive plan released in 2015, which envisions turning the riverfront into a pedestrian park with walking trails along the river. The plan includes a pedestrian walkway across from Washington Street over Levee Street to the riverfront.

Members of the redevelopment committee initially met with representatives from Eskew Dumez in November when committee members and the Board of Mayor and Aldermen went to New Orleans to tour the renovated New Orleans Riverfront to get ideas for redeveloping the Vicksburg riverfront.

Officials met with Jose Alvarez in January in Vicksburg for a tour of the riverfront from the city’s industrial section all the way to Riverwalk Casino.

After the visit, Alvarez the city had “some nice opportunities down by the downtown area, (but) more challenging by the industrial area (along Levee Street). Oak (Street) seems as a promising pathway to connect north and south, and great visibility along the casino.”

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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