More waterfront repairs eyed downtown

More waterfront repairs eyed downtown

April 10th, 2010 by Mike Pare in News

With one downtown waterfront problem fixed with the reopening of the Passage this week, city officials are shifting attention to another potential million-dollar repair job nearby.

Cracking and other problems are surfacing on the concrete edge where boats dock along Ross's Landing. It may be necessary to build an expensive temporary dam so workers can do the renovations on dry land, officials say.

The Tennessee Valley Authority also may be required to regulate the level of the Tennessee River for the work, officials said.

"It will be expensive, for sure," said Steve Leach, the city's public works administrator.


The $120 million 21st Century Waterfront Project was commissioned by former Mayor Bob Corker.

Dan Johnson, Mayor Ron Littlefield's chief of staff, said the city will need to address problems at the dock site and may have to pay for the repairs.

The popular Passage attraction reopened after a $1.6 million, two-year fix. But a study of the concrete dock area immediately downstream found five points of concern near support pilings in the Tennessee River.

Those problems include concrete cracking and falling away, uneven settling and failure of the retaining wall system, officials said.

The city already has spent $50,000 to look at problems above and below the waterline.

A city engineer has said the work could cost more than $1 million, including the cost of the cofferdam.

Mr. Johnson said work to fix the concrete docking area might not begin until next year.

Mr. Leach said much of the area where problems were identified was underwater for much of last winter and this spring after heavy rains.

He told the Chattanooga Downtown Redevelopment Corp., which oversees projects in the area for the city, that the repairs also will be time-consuming.

Staff Photo by Angela Lewis/Chattanooga Times Free Press Repairs may be necessary for the boat dock area near the Passage.

Staff Photo by Angela Lewis/Chattanooga Times Free Press...

How the fix will be funded, he said, may depend on what happens in a lawsuit that the city brought last year against the 21st Century Waterfront Project's designer, builder and developer.

One of the three defendants, nonprofit downtown redevelopment group RiverCity Co., which oversaw the building of the Waterfront Project for the city, has countersued.

City attorney Mike McMahan said the contractor and architect also have sued subcontractors and suppliers. He said the parties in the suit are in the initial phases of legal proceedings.

"It's a big, unhappy family," Mr. McMahan said.

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