Tuesday, October 26, 1999
Rising Sun to revamp shoreline
Erosion has taken bites out
BY MARIE McCAIN
The Cincinnati Enquirer
RISING SUN, Ind. In the hope of preventing further erosion to their shore along the Ohio River, Rising Sun officials Monday announced an ambitious plan to revamp and revitalize the city's waterfront.
The plan is in the conceptual phase, but city leaders presented designs that include green space, access to the river, public plazas, and places for boaters to dock while visiting Rising Sun.
This southeastern Indiana town's mile-long riverfront has experienced considerable erosion in recent years, said Tim Kelly, chairman of the city's Riverfront Advisory Committee.
Some parts of the shoreline have lost more than 6 inches, he said. The water sloughs parts of the shoreline off, and also barrels in under the surface in some parts, creating sinkholes.
City officials have been planning this renewal for about five months, with considerable input from residents in the form of interviews, surveys, and public hearings, Mayor Mark Guard said.
The project will not strain taxpayers in this city of 2,311 residents.
The city was awarded a $325,000 grant from the Lilly Endowment in Indianapolis, which will help defay planning costs. The city is also hoping to get financial assistance from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which also receives grant money to help prevent shoreline erosion, the mayor said.
On Thursday, Mr. Kelly, Mr. Guard and representatives from KZF Inc., the Cincinnati-based design firm for this project, will meet with officials with the Corps of Engineers in Louisville.
The city hopes to do the project in phases, beginning with a two-block stretch from Second to Fourth streets.
When that will actually start is unknown, although some preliminary plowing has been done along the river's edge. This first phase, though, will focus specifically on stabilizing the shoreline and could cost about $2 million, according to Tom West, a KZF planner. Pat and Gary LaVelle, who have lived in Rising Sun 20 years, said improvements to the riverfront will mean a better quality of life.
There are plans to build a landing that will have seating, like along the Serpentine Wall (along Cincinnati's riverfront), Mrs. LaVelle said. That will be much better than what we have now. Usually if we have a band we have to sit in the street on the blacktop.
Mr. LaVelle also pointed to improvements that could lengthen the current river walkway. It's a beautiful view and I don't think we take advantage of it as much as we should, he said.
Besides an expanded riverfront walking path, the city hopes to:
Build a public landing that will allow boats to drop off passengers and provide adjacent docking space.
Convert an existing fishing area into an overlook. The area will give fishers easier access to the river and also provide a nice place for people who just want to look at the view.
Add picnic groves, as well as a footbridge and fountain.
Build a carillon tower.
Once the various phases begin, officials predict construction will take at least five years.
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