New Southbank Riverwalk Construction to Begin

September 05, 2013  
Mayor Alvin Brown and other city leaders braved the rain to unveil the plans and kickoff reconstruction of the Southbank Riverwalk

Joined by Chief Administrative Officer Karen Bowling and Councilman Don Redman, Mayor Alvin Brown kicked-off construction of the new Southbank Riverwalk and unveiled plans this afternoon at Friendship Fountain. Haskell, CH2MHill and Flagg Design representatives were on hand to give an overview of the project details and projected timeline.

“It’s an honor to be part of a project that will both modernize and preserve the Southbank Riverwalk for future generations,” said Mayor Alvin Brown. “The Riverwalk is a very special place in the heart of our city, and we are making an important investment in our quality of life by ensuring its longevity.”

The scope of work for the project includes the demolition of the existing wood boardwalk structure along the Southbank Riverwalk, and the demolition of the former Jacksonville Maritime Museum and Jacksonville History Center buildings.

The existing Riverwalk was constructed in 1985 with great enthusiasm and support from then-Mayor Jake Godbold, City Council, the Downtown Development Authority, and the City of Jacksonville Public Works Department. After nearly 30 years, the existing walk is in need of reconstruction, and Haskell and its teammates CH2MHill and Flagg Design have partnered with the city for design-build services to deliver the project.

“The new Southbank Riverwalk will bring an inspired vibrancy to our community as a family destination so that all may enjoy our greatest natural asset, the St. Johns River,” said Chris Flagg, President of Flagg Design.

The new Riverwalk construction will consist of the following:

  • Approximately 3,000 linear feet of new pre-cast concrete piles and decking
  • Approximately 53,000 square feet of colored brick pavers on top of a pre-cast concrete deck. Both are durable and easy to maintain.
  • 5,600 linear feet of new steel guardrails along the entire stretch of new boardwalk
  • New light poles with energy-efficient LED lighting
  • New in-ground lighting, 18 new shade structures, new steel benches, trash receptacles, pet stations, flagpoles, bike racks and new drinking fountains
  • Reconstruction of the Navy Memorial feature
  • New floating docks
  • The new Riverwalk will be ADA compliant


The demolition of the existing Southbank Riverwalk will commence in two separate phases. Phase 1 consists of the demolition of the former Jacksonville Maritime Museum and the former Jacksonville History Center buildings adjacent to the Main Street Bridge. Phase 2 consists of the removal of the existing wood structure from the Friendship Fountain connection point all the way to the Duval County School board connection point. New construction will commence once certain phases of demolition are complete.
  • Phase 1 Demo Start Date: Sept. 2013
  • Phase 2 Demo Start Date: Nov. 2013
  • New Riverwalk Construction Start Date: Dec. 2013 
  • New Riverwalk Construction Completion Date: Sept. 2014
Marine demolition and reconstruction will commence after the 2013 Florida-Georgia football game festivities and will be continuously coordinated around Jaguar football games to ensure a positive game day experience for all fans during construction operations. Additionally, Haskell will coordinate with the city as well as all individual property owners along the Southbank for construction activities. This collaborative effort will help ensure minimal interruptions to the several business operations along the Southbank Riverwalk including the water taxi service, Jax River Cruises, Wyndham hotel, Charthouse Restaurant, Peninsula and Strand Apartments, Gate Riverplace Tower and the Crowne Plaza Riverfront hotel.