Work formally began on a new 3.2 mile stretch of the 3 Rivers Greenway with Monday’s groundbreaking ceremony.
Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin was on hand for the groundbreaking of the Saluda Riverwalk, a new 8-foot-wide lighted concrete trail and boardwalk, which will be located at 270 Candi Lane – between Riverbanks Zoo and the Saluda River.
“Columbia is excited that this new era of livability, this new era of sustainability, and this era of actually valuing this treasure that we all share that makes the Midlands special is coming to physical affirmation,” Benjamin said to free-times.com.
Benjamin was joined by a group of Richland County and Columbia leaders, in addition to a crowd of about 50 onlookers.
“A year from now we will see 500 people passing by here an hour,” John McArthur, chairman of the River Alliance, said to free-times.com.
Lexington-based AOS Specialty Contractors Inc. is building the project. The firm has completed numerous projects in the Midlands, including the Five Points Fountain, the Owens Field Skate Park, the median enhancements on Assembly Street and Guignard Park in Cayce.
Richland County authorities said the 3 Rivers Greenway expansion Phase 1 – the Saluda Riverwalk – should be “substantially completed within a year.” Phase 2 of the project will connect the Saluda Riverwalk to the canal and Riverfront Park and its greenway.
“It’s been too long for us to get where we are today. … I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure phase two doesn’t take this long,” Richland County Councilman Paul Livingston said to free-times.com.
The 3 Rivers Greenway is a trail that will stretch along the Congaree River in Cayce and the Broad River in Columbia and include West Columbia’s Riverwalk Amphitheater and Columbia's Riverfront Park. The Saluda Riverwalk will connect the 3 Rivers Greenway.
The City of Columbia will manage the Saluda Riverwalk.