Feasibility Study to Look at a Riverwalk for Monroe

MONROE -- What do you think of a riverwalk along the riverfront in Monroe?

A feasibility study in Monroe is in the works looking at that possibility.

The Downtown Economic Development District says they're working with the city of Monroe to acquire funding for a riverwalk area.

They've received $65,000 dollars for an engineering study to see how possible that is.

"Envision this - we have kind of a hiking, biking, walking trail starting at Forsythe Park coming all the way to the south, to Louisville Avenue, and then dropping down to a riverwalk pedestrian walk. This will start near the Warehouse restaurant and continue to River and Rail," said Larry Bratton, chairman of the DEDD.

They are looking into building a pedestrian walk, like a brick street, that would butt up against the seawall but would only be two feet tall.

"So, envision yourself walking down through here, with the buildings to your left, and seawall only two feet, you've got a beautiful view of the river as you walk down through there," said Bratton.

The DEDD has made an application through the state legislature for $3.5 million dollars in capital outlay.

Bratton says if they get the infrastructure down-packed in downtown, they hope for development to be a ripple effect. 

The DEDD has a list of projects that we're working on in conjunction with the Ouachita Riverfront Commission.

Bratton says they are interested in the idea of residential development -- a mix of business underneath residential units similar to the French Quarter in New Orleans.

He says they also have $200,000 in capital outlay right now that they hope to get moved up to priority five to get the funding for floating docks to give enhanced access to downtown Monroe.

"It will be tied to the RiverMarket. Similar to Duck Commander Christmas where you can moor a boat for particular events," said Bratton. "Our long term vision is to expand that out ."

Other projects in the works include a pedestrian crossing at the railroad for art alley and a $425,000 DOTD enhancement grant to add lighting and sidewalk enhancements from South Grand street all the way to 6th Street on Desiard.

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