Southbank Riverwalk construction moving along

By Heather Leigh, Mobile journalist, hleigh@wjxt.com
Published On: Mar 19 2014 08:28:07 PM EDT
Updated On: Mar 19 2014 08:47:31 PM EDT

VIDEO: Jacksonville City Council member Don Redman makes it known that he's happy repairs are underway for the Riverwalk. He says not only does the space need it, but Redman says he was injured on the walk way.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

Another city council member spoke out Wednesday on the construction of a new Southbank Riverwalk.

Don Redman says he has personal reasons to be pleased that the dilapidated boardwalk is finally being replaced because he himself was injured on the old wooden Riverwalk. Soon it will be concrete, not to mention safer.

Construction is in the beginning stages. It started at the Friendship Fountain and crews are working their way down to the end which is right behind the Duval County School District.

It's a sight that many people don't like to see -- construction. But, when it comes to the Southbank Riverwalk it's exactly what Jacksonville City Council Member Don Redman was hoping for.

"The Southbank Riverwalk is in terrible shape has been in terrible shape for quite some time," says Redman.

Redman knows first hand. That's because he ended up in the hospital after falling off his bike and breaking his leg four years ago on the Riverwalk. So in 2010 the city passed a measure to tear down the decaying walkway and rebuild it but construction didn't begin until this year.

“I feel like I've been left out of the loop as a district city council member for the Southbank Riverwalk," he says.

He notes that a string of e-mails from a former member of the Duval County school district were sent to the director of Jacksonville’s public works department expressing concerns over parking and access to the Riverwalk.

“It appears from the paperwork that I got, received from Jim Robinson last week that it may have been just one individual that worked for the school board that thought there was a problem and didn't communicate that with the rest of the people he worked with," he says.

Tuesday, the School District sent out a statement expressing its full support to rebuild the entire Riverwalk. The project is expected to be finished by the fall of 2014.

Redman says things should move along pretty quickly which is a stark difference to what we've seen so far.

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