Chattahoochee River Restoration: Columbus, GA
RESTORING OLD GLORY WITH NEW WHITEWATER
Restoring the Falls of the Chattahoochee – Communities on both sides of the Chattahoochee River have recently improved the river corridor with new riverwalks and developments, but progress in the river itself has been stalled for decades by two decommissioned textile-mill-era dams. With oversight by the Army Corps of Engineers, these two dams will be removed to reveal the natural whitewater rapids that have been inundated for nearly 200 years. MWDG improves upon nature’s design and the whitewater experience by adding a combination of grouted boulder structures, newly excavated channels, a tunable WaveShaper and upgraded access.
The Habitat Pool, an offshoot from the main stem of the river located upstream and north of the Eagle and Phenix Dam is the destination for those who seek slow moving water and excellent river access. This section of the river offers tremendous fish and bird habitat and a great locale for beginning boaters and stand up paddleboarders to practice and play.
Improving the Quality of the Downtown Experience – The Dam removal, along with MWDG’s proposed improvements, dramatically improved the quality of the downtown experience dramatically, providing new economic opportunities and boosting property values in Columbus and neighboring Phenix City, Alabama by:
- Forming exciting and scenic whitewater rapids within view of new riverside development that already includes retail shops, restaurants, hotels, and luxory loft apartments and condos.
- Creating a two mile whitewater rafting run that begins and ends in a vibrant and historic mill district, attracting 60,000 to 100,000 visitors per year and, according to a recent economic study, have an annual economic impact of $4 to $7 million.
- Developing a high quality wave that provides high class experiences for kayaking and board surfing enthusiasts.
- Creating additional whitewater features and improving access to the river in and alongside the restored river.
Environmental Restoration – The project, currently under construction, makes environmental restoration a priority by:
- Removing two decommissioned dams that impound water and prevent fish passage.
- Restoring two miles of river habitat for listed endangered species.
- Creating fish passage for American shad, striped bass and herring.
- Creating designated fish and bird habitat.
The combination of economic development and positive environmental impacts provided by this project are sure to benefit the surrounding communities for generations to come.
Services Provided – Conceptual Design / Bathymetric Survey / Artist’s Renderings / Stakeholder Input / Physical Model / Preliminary and Final Design / Construction Inspection