The Scioto Greenways Riverfront Redevelopment
- April 16, 2010 4:16 am at 4:16 am #81222
Scioto-Olentangy Greenway Corridor
Main CU Feature: 12 Ideas Laid Out for Downtown 2010 Strategic Plan
Cities around the world are rediscovering riverfronts as unique natural amenities that add vibrancy and life to the urban environment. The City of Columbus is already at the forefront of this return to the riverfront. The Scioto River Downtown is being revitalized by three major parks projects. Starting at North Bank Park, along the Scioto Mile that is currently under construction, and ending at the recently-opened Grange Insurance Audubon Center, the Scioto River now has three world-class park destinations within Downtown.
Today, we have the opportunity to create an unparalleled green river corridor that runs through the heart of the City of Columbus. This vision is made possible by other city initiatives that are currently underway. The CityÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s $2.5 billion Wet Weather Management Program will reduce the potential for Combined Sewer Overflows that impact the Scioto and Olentangy Rivers. Further promoting the concept of a clean river is the removal of low head dams that unnaturally widen both the Scioto and Olentangy Rivers, impede river flow, inhibit river habitat and create safety hazards. Cleaning the rivers and removing low head dams would restore the natural river course, reintroduce river habitat and create more green space and recreational opportunities.April 16, 2010 4:34 am at 4:34 am #362170
Would the Santa Maria be buried?
Removing the dams would be awesome. We could have a water taxi service linking parks and places. What ever happened to the pedal swan boats that used to be in the river in the 80’s/90’s?April 16, 2010 5:43 am at 5:43 am #362171
so will the eventually redo the bridges too?April 16, 2010 11:25 am at 11:25 am #362172
just leave this one to FUD (Franklinton Underwater Demolition)!April 16, 2010 11:52 am at 11:52 am #362173
Keep in mind that “restoring the natural course” would mean big changes in water level from time to time. As the downtown pool is now, it stays more or less the same and the river would have to be fairly high before you’d notice much change. When the flow is low, there’s still a pool that looks the same.
Look below Greenlawn Dam for a hint of what it would look like. There’s a whole floodplain that goes underwater a few times in a year, otherwise it’s forest and undergrowth. That type of zone is where most of the gained parkland would be. There would be a regular variation of water height within a range of a few feet, within a recognizable riverbank. In really dry conditions there would be a lot of stony riverbed exposed, and you might be able to cross and not get your knees wet.
And, being natural, it would be changing over time. Look below Griggs Dam and you’ll see banks scouring out, trees falling in, channels changing, etc. Those drawings look like they’d set rigid banks, and the the water would stay within them except for the occasional flood event. And BTW the more we can retain our stormwater, the fewer such flood events we’ll have.
I’ve heard that because Greenlawn Dam has a sewer line in it, it would be cost-prohibitive to remove it and re-route the sewer.April 16, 2010 11:55 am at 11:55 am #362174
This is the idea I’m most excited about. I’ve always been perplexed by those dams, and would love to get rid of them (and the new neon warning signs that were recently put up).
I also love the idea of getting a canoe or kayak and boating from here to downtown. The steps for the old Olentangly Park Canoe Club are still in decent shape (a little crumbly, but useable), but there are dams just a few hundred feet away in either direction. I don’t think that boating would ever become a major transportation option, but I could see a push to allow unpowered small boats as something else that would make Columbus unique. For a city that was founded because of a confluence, I don’t think anyone outside of Columbus knows that we even have rivers- Yet!April 16, 2010 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm #362175
In the 1995 Griggs plan, one suggestion was to establish a canoe trail from Griggs to downtown, with a livery running as a business. But that’s one of several ideas that never materialized.April 16, 2010 1:27 pm at 1:27 pm #362176
anillo wrote >>
so will the eventually redo the bridges too?
I don’t think they’d have to. The lower levels could have walking and biking paths that go under the bridges where they cross land.
alexs wrote >>
I’ve heard that because Greenlawn Dam has a sewer line in it, it would be cost-prohibitive to remove it and re-route the sewer.
It wasn’t mentioned as one of the Dams to remove. The Main Street Dam was the southernmost one.April 16, 2010 2:01 pm at 2:01 pm #362177
NO!! Greenspace is a terrible idea downtown. This is screaming for a boardwalk along the river downtown. Shops, restaurants, shows, bait shops, paddle boat rentals, bars, etc. I’ll even say it – put a small casino on the boardwalk…April 16, 2010 2:33 pm at 2:33 pm #362178
I don’t think that this idea and a boardwalk are mutually exclusive.April 16, 2010 2:44 pm at 2:44 pm #362179
Any idea if this would create flooding issues? Also, unless there’s some infrastructre, the seasonal wetlands could end up stinking pretty bad. But I like the idea of making the rivers useable recreation space. A canoe/kayak livery could generate some revenue out of the idea to make it more self sustaining.April 16, 2010 3:07 pm at 3:07 pm #362180
Do you think it would stink more or less than the river does now? ;)April 16, 2010 3:14 pm at 3:14 pm #362181
Walker wrote >>
Do you think it would stink more or less than the river does now? ;)
If more muck were exposed, then probably. I know it’s not like a summer breeze down there now, but there would be some serious mud clean up needed seasonally if the river ebbed and flowed more.April 16, 2010 3:22 pm at 3:22 pm #362182
The Santa Maria should be relocated to the opposite side of the river by COSI which would give visitors a reason to go outside and be educational at the same time. Given its prominent location downtown, COSI needs to utilize its outside space and the river much more than it currently does with additional educational exhibits, at least during the summer months.April 16, 2010 3:27 pm at 3:27 pm #362183
gk wrote >>
The Santa Maria should be relocated to the opposite side of the river by COSI which would give visitors a reason to go outside and be educational at the same time. Given its prominent location downtown, COSI needs to utilize its outside space and the river much more than it currently does with additional educational exhibits, at least during the summer months.
I wonder how seaworthy [riverworthy?] the Santa Maria is. Would there be any possibility of offering short trips along the downtown riverfront? I imagine that this was discussed and/or dismissed when it was installed, but I haven’t paid much attention to it since it was installed (also, I just realized that was almost 20 years ago. Wow.)
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