Committee to report on plans for riverfront

Published 6:22 pm Wednesday, July 4, 2018

A year after its creation, the Riverfront Redevelopment Committee appointed by Mayor George Flaggs Jr. is ready to present the first phase of work planned for the Vicksburg riverfront.

The committee will hold a Riverfront Design Concept Workshop Monday from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Jesse Brent Lower Mississippi River Museum. During the workshop, Jose Alvarez of Eskew Dumez Ripple, who was hired in April to prepare plans for the redesign, will present the first phase of the plan.

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Kim Hopkins, who is the executive director of Vicksburg Main Street and the chairman of the riverfront committee, said she has not seen the plans, but that Monday’s meeting will only include plans for the downtown portion of the riverfront.

“We have walked the area several times and then Jose was here a month ago and met with the committee and we walked the area again and talked about everything we wanted to see changed,” Hopkins said. “This is the first phase on the downtown part of the riverfront.”

The 20-person riverfront committee was appointed by Flaggs last July to “make some cost effective recommendations as to how we can improve the waterfront for the tourist traffic in that area.”

In November, the committee took a tour of New Orleans’ riverfront, which was rehabbed by Eskew Dumez Ripple.

“I think it was time well spent,” former Vicksburg-Warren Chamber of Commerce president and committee member Mark Buys said after the visit. “The architecture firm we visited with has a tremendous amount of experience in riverfront development. We were in the right place. We toured a portion of the riverfront park because it is broken up into different sections because of the commercial development.”

The committee met with representatives from Eskew Dumez Ripple again in December before the city officially hired them in April for $80,000.

The first phase of the project is expected to include plan for a pedestrian bridge across the railroad tracks downtown as well as ways to make the floodwall a more attractive entrance to the city for riverboat passengers.

“We also have been talking to somebody about doing the mural part to starting off with a postcard mural on the insides of the floodwall and also taking an old map of the river and painting those on the inside of the floodwall,” Hopkins said.

Monday’s meeting is open to the public.