Jacksonville, FL - Roadblocks and questions continue to emerge in the long struggle to renovate Jacksonville’s Southbank Riverwalk.
We first told you in September, when the reconstruction broke ground, that the project was no longer fully funded. City Council had approved a $15 million budget for the project in 2010, but various obstacles prevented progress until late 2013. At that time, the contractor told the city $15 million would no longer cover the entire length of the Riverwalk. The construction started, nonetheless.
“I’m questioning whether they even have the authority to have done this project knowing they didn’t have the money to finish it,” says Councilman John Crescimbeni.
Crescimbeni says when he initially voted for the funding, it was to replace the aging wood of the Riverwalk with concrete for the entire length from the Friendship Fountain to the School Board building. The current plan leaves off the final 900 feet, and also includes features like floating docks, seating, shading, lighting and more.
In September, it was not clear just how much more money the project needed. Within the last few weeks we learned that could be $2 million. Crescimbeni says he’s now learned it will be at least $2.3 million.
“I’m not sure why we’re getting all these discrepancies,” he says.
On Tuesday, the Finance committee deferred action on the proposal, citing a desire for more answers like what the final price tag will be. Crescimbeni says the Council knows this project has to be done in entirety, but that they may have to look at cutting some features in order to make that happen without needing much more money.