Riverfront Dev. moves forward with plans for downtown project

The Riverfront Development Corporation is moving forward with their plans to make some expensive changes downtown.

They move forward despite the fact that a City Council Committee pulled millions of dollars out of the budget that would fund the next phase of their project.

This vision of the waterfront downtown has been in the making since the late 90's.

Beale Street Landing would be a place where pedestrians could walk not only along the water of the mighty Mississippi, but on it via a floating walkway.

But, at the moment, construction money is on the chopping block.

Last week a city council budget committee voted to remove $29 million in funding for the project from the city's capitol improvements budget.

In a few weeks, the full council will have to decide whether to restore those funds.

RDC President Benny Lendermon says residents and tourists already have limited access to the water.

"If the City Council represents the public and its their will and they should decide whether this is a good project or not a good project," says Lendermon.

The RDC's concept has always had its opponents. The group "Friends of our Waterfront" believes the area needs improving. But not at the expense of green space.

But without a majority vote, the project is dead in the water. The City Council is still in the process of reviewing the budget.

The issue probably won't come up for a vote in the full council until next month.

Construction on the Beale Street Landing is scheduled to begin this fall.


to email Anna Marie Hartman.