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Jacksonville Debuts Smoother, Brighter, More Artsy Southbank Riverwalk

Jacksonville’s new Southbank Riverwalk opened to great fanfare today. The updated city park features a new fountain, artwork and lighting for evening strolls.

Jacksonville City Councilman Don Redman was riding his bike down the newly paved Southbank Riverwalk this afternoon. Redman said it’s his first time back on his bike since going for a ride down the old wooden, Riverwalk in this same location.

"On Thanksgiving morning 2009, I said, we’ll I’m gonna ride my bike down there on the Riverwalk, and see just what kind of condition it’s in. Well I did. I broke my femur and ended up in the hospital," Redman said.

Soon after, he says, the Council passed legislation leading to the renovation. The paved, three-quarter-mile path winds east from Friendship Fountain. And coming soon, a 64-foot river mosaic by artist Kate Garcia Rouh will adorn a wall along the path below the Main Street Bridge.

Jessica Palombo supervises local news gathering and production, podcasts and web editorial content for WJCT News, ADAPT and Jacksonville Today. She is an award-winning writer and journalist with bylines including NPR, Experience Magazine, and The Gainesville Sun. She has a master’s degree in broadcast and digital journalism from Syracuse University and is an alumna of the University of Florida. A nearly lifelong resident of Jacksonville, she considers herself lucky to be raising her own children in her hometown. Follow Jessica Palombo on Twitter: @JaxJessicaP