"My Town and Yours" Thoughts and Observations of Mark Lange
Maybe It's Not Such a Good Idea
by Mark Lange,posted May 13 2013 6:08AM
There will be more discussion and possible action on the long discussed and cussed Riverwalk proposal for the City of Vincennes this afternoon at the Board of Works meeting. Here's the pitch: Let's show off our city's largest natural aspect - the Wabash River. Here's the problem: We first must make sure we control the ravages of our city's largest natural enemy - the Wabash River.
The Riverwalk is supposed to connect the Clark Memorial with Kimmel Park and maybe beyond. Great on paper and those Indianapolis Engineering firms who have already made tons of money on this proposal and stand to make even more if the city moves forward, but I still can't figure out how it is supposed to work.
You could build the walk along the river on the river side of the levee. OK. Try that during the spring and fall floods and you would drown. Try cleaning up the mud and trash on that Riverwalk design after all those floods. Try paying for that clean up year after year after year. Try keep your walkway even intact flood after flood after flood.
You could build the walk on the city side of the levee, but you couldn't see the river very well.
You could build the walk on top of the levee, but that would fly against all those warnings about staying off the levee because potential damage. The US Corps of Engineers would certainly have something to say about that option - if it is an option.
A Riverwalk sounds great. Supporters have reminded us about beautiful such walks in other communities, but I haven't heard them talk about a successful walk along a levee protected river in a community that needs the levee to stay a city. A Riverwalk in Evansville? Fine. Evansville is much higher than the river in most spots. Henderson is even higher. The Henderson riverfront is very nice. What about Indy and Austin, Texas? There is no Riverwalk on the White River. It's on a canal. And Austin? Maybe some city officials should go down there and check it out - on the Engineering Firm's budget no doubt.