COLUMBUS, Miss.– Ribbon cutting ceremonies commemorating the completion of a pedestrian walkway over the historic Old Tombigbee River Bridge located in the Columbus Riverwalk Park are set for 10 a.m., Friday, Oct. 18, according to Columbus Mayor Robert Smith. The public is invited to attend.
The Columbus Riverwalk Park is located off the intersection of South 2nd Street and Main Street next to Harvey’s Restaurant. Parking is available at the trailhead of this intersection and in the Park below the bridge.
“Developing the Old Tombigbee River Bridge into a pedestrian walkway adds a vibrant centerpiece to the Columbus Riverwalk that will benefit our citizens and local businesses for years to come,” Smith said. “The partners who participated in the restoration project are to be commended for their vision.”
Smith said the project was funded in 2010 with a $2 million enhancement grant from the Mississippi Department of Transportation. Matching funds in the amount of $500 thousand were provided by the City of Columbus, Lowndes County and the Columbus-Lowndes Convention and Visitors Bureau. Neel-Schaffer, Inc., a local engineering firm, performed the bridge’s rehabilitation design and construction oversight. The construction was awarded to Malouf Construction at a contract cost of $2.2 million.
“Development of this new walkway provides citizens and visitors a unique opportunity to access the beautiful Tombigbee River that flows through our city,” said Nancy Carpenter, Columbus-Lowndes Convention and Visitors Bureau executive director. “It is an attraction that will draw people into the area and thus will help keep our downtown alive.”
Construction work for the bridge included pier stabilization; structural steel and concrete rehabilitation; lighting, timber boardwalk, walking surface, handrail, and paint restoration; and the addition of concrete curb and gutters, a connection to the Riverwalk and accent lighting.
“This historic and beautiful bridge now provides pedestrians with safe access to “The Island,” and it bridges the on-going renovation of our downtown area,” said Harry Sanders, president, Lowndes County Board of Supervisors.
The ribbon cutting will kick off a weekend “packed with fun” at Riverwalk, including live blues performed by Grady Champion, barbeque and local artwork exhibits. Later, Caledonia Days continues the festivities with live music, food, children’s activities and fireworks in the town of Caledonia. To learn more about upcoming events, visit the Columbus/Lowndes Convention and Visitors Bureau web site at www.coumbus-ms.org.
ROBERT E. SMITH, SR
GENE A. TAYLOR
JOSEPH W. MICKENS, SR.
CHIEF OPERATIONS OFFICER
MILTON RAWLE, JR.
THOMAS K. MOORE
DIRECTOR OF FEDERAL PROGRAMS
HUMAN RESOURCES DIRECTOR