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Wilmington City Council approves funding to improve Riverfront Park


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Tonight Wilmington City Council decided to spend more than a half-million dollars to fix up Riverfront Park. The master plan will extend from Market Street through where the Coast Guard Cutter Diligence is docked.

Wilmington City Council voted on two items, including spending $530,000 dollars on Riverfront Park improvements. More than $350,000 would go to Andrews Consulting Engineers, who would renovate the bulkhead. City Council also voted to put up $90,000 dollars. The state would then match it with a grant to make aesthetic improvements to the area.

City spokesman Dylan Lee says the improvements are necessary.

"The currents of that river are just ongoing. The Riverwalk itself and the bulkhead that supports the Riverwalk have to be maintained, or else they'll be degraded by the strong currents of that river, and so it's just something that has to be done if you're going to be care-taking what is the city's number one tourist attraction," Lee said.

Lee says they are coordinating with the utility authority, ADA, and street-scape to make improvements all during the same time.

"There are multiple projects that are being combined because while you're going to dig that up and make a little bit of a mess and construction you can do multiple things," Lee said.

Lee said he does not know when the work will start but the design will start immediately.

City Council also voted to approve close to $7,000 to give to the Downtown Business Alliance. DBA President Jim Bitto said the money will help cover the cost of trash collection, police and fire protection and musical entertainment for the St. Patrick's Day Parade and concert, Rims on the River and the Art Walk.

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