Warm weather in Columbia + river rapids? Think again

The weather forecast in the Columbia area calls for temperatures near 80 degrees through the end of February.

For some, this warm weather and (somewhat) clear skies might mean a day trip sunning themselves on the rocks along the Saluda River or paddling near Riverbanks Zoo. If that’s the case, you better find another place to get an early start on your summer tan or put in your kayak. Construction of the Saluda Riverwalk project continues to restrict public access to the river at Mills Race Rapids.

Richland County is constructing the 3.2-mile long riverwalk that, once complete, will open up one of the most beautiful stretches of the waterway to the public. Part of the Three Rivers Greenway Extension Phase 1, the city of Columbia will operate the stretch from I-26 to the confluence with the Broad River as a public park.

Meanwhile, work is continuing on private property near the site, and public access is not allowed without the consent of the property owner. Signs and fencing have been erected to keep out the public out of the construction zone. Work is scheduled to be completed this fall.