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Monday, May 27, 2013 - 5:00am

Whitewater Course Draws Big Crowds

A new whitewater rafting course at the Georgia-Alabama state line is drawing big crowds for its grand opening after nearly 13 years of work.

It cost nearly $24.4 million to tear down two dams on the river between Columbus and Phenix City, Ala., and build the 2.5-mile course.

Officials opened the rapids to rafters on Saturday as an estimated 1,600 people stood along the river banks and watched. Whitewater Express, an Atlanta-based outfitter, said it expected more than 400 customers to pay the $32.50 to $48.50 fee to run the river on opening day.

The mayors of Columbus and Phenix City say the whitewater course should spur economic development between their cities. Phenix City Mayor Eddie Lowe said: "We're going to ride this tide together."

GPB’s Claire Simms recently took a rafting trip down the course. See her report here.