After a delay of over three years, reconstruction is beginning on Jacksonville's Southbank Riverwalk.
The old wood planks will be replaced with cement and will look much like the Northbank Riverwalk on the other side of the St. Johns River.
The holdup was getting Southbank land owners to sign off, in particular the owners of the Crowne Plaza Hotel, who had expressed concern that construction noise would affect customers.
The project will begin with the demolition of the old Jacksonville Maritime Museum and Jacksonville History Center buildings, both of which have long been empty. Then the reconstruction of the Riverwalk will begin from the opposite side and work toward the Main Street Bridge. If the Crowne Plaza still hasn't signed on, the original wood portion behind the hotel will remain.
Marine demolition and reconstruction will begin after the annual University of Florida-University of Georgia football game.
News that the work would begin on the Riverwalk was welcomed by those on the walk Thursday who said the project is long overdue.
Several complained about the uneven wood surface, even tripping while walking along the boardwalk.