Thu., September 20, 2012 2:16pm (EDT)

Columbus Is Ready For Next Step
By Ellen Reinhardt
Updated: 2 years ago

ATLANTA  —  
Uptown Columbus businesses asked a consultant to come up with ways the city can capitalize on a new whitewater rapids facility. Now they have to figure out how to make the recommendations happen.  Whitewater Columbus is expected to open next year. (photo of the Columbus Riverwalk courtesy of the Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau)
Uptown Columbus businesses asked a consultant to come up with ways the city can capitalize on a new whitewater rapids facility. Now they have to figure out how to make the recommendations happen. Whitewater Columbus is expected to open next year. (photo of the Columbus Riverwalk courtesy of the Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau)
The Mayor of Columbus says it will take millions of dollars to implement a new strategic plan for downtown. But city officials are determined to leverage interest generated by the Whitewater Columbus facility.

A consultant hired by the Uptown Columbus business district submitted a plan Wednesday recommending the city create public plazas to view the new whitewater rapids run. The facility is expected to be completed next year.

Mayor Teresa Tomlinson says the first recommendation they will likely tackle will be constructing a cantilevered platform jutting out over the bank of the Chattahoochee near the city’s main arteries. She says Columbus already has strong public-private partnerships, ready to focus on taking downtown to the next level.

She says “Let’s not worry about the money at this point. Let’s worry about the vision. Because if you’ve got the right vision and it has the right promise and potential return, the money will work itself out.”

Tomlinson says the city is repairing an outdated bridge across the Chattahoochee River as a pedestrian walkway to view the whitewater run.

She says “That is nearly completion and is a phenomenal and beautiful amenity to the river. And then of course we do have already under construction walkways out to an island that is further out, about a quarter of the way out into the river.”

It’s estimated nearly 200 thousand people a year will be drawn to Columbus by the new whitewater facility.