A Wilmington riverfront project that has been anticipated for many months is scheduled to begin after the close of the N.C. Azalea Festival, according to city of Wilmington officials.
In a downtown news update last week, city of Wilmington spokesman Dylan Lee said that repairs to a large section of bulkhead owned by the U.S. Coast Guard will begin immediately after the festival, which is scheduled to take place April 3-7. Burgess Corp. of Wilmington will do the repairs, Lee said Monday.
The project “will initially involve a closure of Water Street between Market and Princess Streets, as well as a closure of this portion of Riverfront Park,” Lee wrote in his update, adding, “Sometime this summer the work will move to the north and the intersection of Princess Street and Water Street will close.”
Lee said that the Princess Street-Water Street intersection will not close until work is complete on installation of new water and sewer lines on Water Street, adjacent to the River Place project. the above project (Water Street utilities) is complete. That project is scheduled for completion in May, according to Lee.
Bulkhead repairs are expected to take 12 months, according to Lee. Funding -- in the amount of $6.7 million -- comes from the federal government and was announced last May
. Those repairs will provide the necessary below-ground infrastructure to support Phase 2 of Wilmington's Riverfront Park Master Plan.
Lee said Monday in an email that the surface improvements include pavers, landscaping, streetscaping and park amenities, similar to the improvements made at the foot of Market Street.
Work on Phase 2 will begin as soon as bulkhead repairs are complete, Lee said.
The Coast Guard cutter Diligence, which has called the riverfront site its home berth since the mid-1990s, will benefit from the restored stretch of bulkhead for only a short time. USCG officials have announced that Diligence will move to a new home base in Pensacola, Florida, sometime in the fall of 2020. Lee said Coast Guard officials have not announced their plans for the bulkhead area, which the USCG owns.