The next step in enhancing downtown Vicksburg is remodeling the riverfront

Published 6:30 pm Friday, April 13, 2018

Wednesday, two riverboats sat docked at the riverfront in downtown Vicksburg as visitors explored the Vicksburg National Military Park, museums and shops.

Riverboat traffic has become a major industry in itself in Vicksburg.

It is time for the riverfront, where riverboats dock and their passengers disembark and glean their first impression of Vicksburg, to be transformed from eyesore to grand entrance.

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The Board of Mayor and Aldermen took the first step toward making that a reality this week when it approved a contract with Eskew Dumez Ripple to design the improvements to the riverfront to make it more appealing to residents and visitors.

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.

Downtown Vicksburg has been transformed in recent years with new restaurants, bars, retail stores and residential lofts, condos and apartments and will soon take a huge step forward with the opening of Margaritaville.

A barbecue restaurant, a museum in the Monte Carlo building and a new splash pad are also planned for downtown. 

With all of the good things happening downtown, the city cannot afford to allow the riverfront itself to be left unimproved.

Eskew Dumez Ripple has the experience we need. That firm revamped the riverfront in New Orleans. The Riverfront Committee created by Mayor George Flaggs Jr. toured the New Orleans riverfront before recommending that Vicksburg work with Eskew Dumez Ripple.

It is our hope that firm, along with the work of those on the city’s riverfront committee, will be able to transform Vicksburg’s riverfront into a destination for the region.