Bill Bortzfield/WJCT News

Jacksonville city leaders are inching closer to a plan to revitalize the downtown Riverwalks after Hurricane Irma dealt them quite a blow last fall.

Jessica Palombo / WJCT News

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.

drawing on easel
Jessica Palombo / WJCT News

Starting this summer, Jacksonville residents will have a new place to socialize downtown—on top of the St. Johns River. Plans for a mobile bar called The Barge were unveiled today at the ribbon-cutting for the new Southbank Riverwalk.

The Barge is the brainchild of Al and Dawn Emerick, who live downtown.

“The Barge is the region’s first-ever floating, place-making venue retrofitted and designed to activate the Southbank and connect the Northbank, unifying Jacksonville around her absolute gorgeous greatest asset, the St. Johns River," Al Emerick said. 

Credit: News4Jax

More than 70 vessels ranging from houseboats and sailboats to even canoes and kayaks will be decorated with lights and paraded down the St. Johns River Saturday night for the 30th anniversary of the Jacksonville Light Boat Parade. 

After five years of severe funding cutbacks to the annual Jacksonville holiday tradition due to the tightened city budget, the city of Jacksonville announced earlier this year that the boat parade had a new manager and a new title sponsor. 

Jonathan Zander / Wikimedia Commons

Jacksonville officials have given the green light on long-delayed plans to reconstruct the city's Southbank Riverwalk.

Crowne Plaza Jacksonville-Riverfront / InterContinental Hotels Group

A plan to replace Jacksonville's Southbank Riverwalk behind the Crowne Plaza Hotel with concrete instead of wood is waiting on a final okay from the city's public works department.

The Mayo Clinic, the Southbank Riverwalk, and hurricanes are in the headlines today.

Charter schools, the Jacksonville Riverwalk, and Common Core are in the headlines today.

Kevin Meerschaert / WJCT

A plan to extend the length of the Southbank Riverwalk renovations is on hold temporarily while city lawmakers look for answers about where the money for the project is coming from.

Kevin Meerschaert / WJCT

The reconstruction of Jacksonville's Southbank Riverwalk may be completed way sooner than expected.

Welcome to WJCT First Read, your daily weekday morning round-up of stories from the First Coast, around Florida, and across the country. We'll also preview some of WJCT's upcoming news programming.

Southbank Riverwalk to be renovated despite objector: Work has begun to replace the city's aging wood boardwalk without the approval of the owners of the Crowne Plaza hotel.

Kevin Meerschaert / WJCT

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.

Kevin Meerschaert

The Jacksonville City Council has approved extending the Northbank Riverwalk under the Fuller-Warren Bridge from the Riverside Arts Market to Riverside Park in Five Points.

Plans for the extension have been on the books since the late 90's, but funding for the project was hard to come by.

Right now, the area is a fenced-in site with two dry retention ponds. The Artist Walk is expected to include sidewalks, green space, benches, lighting and two fountains.

          A group of downtown Jacksonville business and community leaders are kicking off a project to enhance the north bank and south bank riverwalks on the St. Johns River.
       The Riverwalk Project will present its initiative during next month’s One Spark festival.
          The project will create an app and website that would stream information about health, the environment, arts and entertainment and Jacksonville’s history.