Chattahoochee River Restoration

Columbus, Georgia


  • Conceptual design
  • Artist’s renderings
  • Preliminary and final design
  • Extensive bathymetric survey
  • Hydraulic modeling: physical model, CFD, 2D, flood modeling
  • Construction phase services
  • Startup and testing services

Named the “world’s best manmade whitewater” by USA Today, this project involved the removal of two historic dams, which opened up two miles of the river, restoring rare Fall Line habitats, attracting tens of thousands of river recreationalists, and transforming the community. Along with a multitude of whitewater improvements, river access, and park spaces, the dam removal unleashed the potential of the river and community, dramatically improving the local downtown experience, providing new economic opportunities, attracting new residents and businesses, and boosting tourism. This large Urban River Restoration demonstrates the power of bringing together river health, recreation, and connecting the community to their river to spur prosperity.

This project hosted the 2018 U.S.A. National Freestyle Kayaking Championships and is scheduled to host upcoming World Freestyle kayaking championship events.

Dam removals with dozens of new in-river features, bank improvements, vegetation, habitats, restored this once highly-disturbed river into a one-of-a-kind urban whitewater attraction.

Chattahoochee River Restoration
Chattahoochee River Restoration
Chattahoochee River Restoration

Key Project Highlights

  • Two-mile long world-class urban whitewater venue with a 35-foot drop
  • Habitat creation for the endangered Shoal Spider Lilly and native Shoal Bass, an important game fish only found in the southeastern U.S.
  • Fish passage with natural-looking rapids and anti-stranding pools with deep flowing water, shade, and cover.
  • Unique real-time adjustable in-river patented WaveShaper feature promoting various forms of recreation (i.e. kayaking, surfing, rafting, etc.)
  • Largest known physical model of whitewater river rapids
  • The design was well-received and readily approved by USACE, USFWS, and SHPO.





Economic Impact (Actual Data 2014-2017)

  • More than 100,000 rafting visitors
  • $74 million+ in capital investment
  • 42 new businesses; several university extensions
  • $24 million+ in gross revenues (annually)
  • 400+ new jobs

“This is the best river restoration project I have ever seen”

Charlie Walbridge, National Whitewater Expert