The mighty Flint River and historic downtown are two of the most popular venues in Bainbridge, Georgia, and soon they'll be linked.
Chris Hobby, Bainbridge City Manager, says, "We are developing a master plan that will hopefully connect this square we're standing in with the river, which is just a couple blocks away from us."
The plan calls for a series of walking paths and recreation areas to connect downtown to nearby Cheney-Griffin Park and the Earl Mae Boat Basin. Both lie along the Flint River.
Rosalyn Palmer, a downtown merchant, says, "I think it's an opportunity that's been waiting to explode for a long time, and if you get people from the river coming for a day or weekend, however long they want to stay, and they have a way to easily get to downtown, I think it's going to help us."
The city has already shelled out $62,000 to hire consultants for the project.
Bainbridge officials say the rest of the money will come from a local sales tax that has already been approved by voters for recreational purposes.
Amanda Glover, Bainbridge Mainstreet Director, says, "We would love to see a pedestrian way from downtown to Cheney-Griffin Park, which will create the pedestrian traffic that we're looking for and some sort of water park in between Cheney-Griffin Park and the Earl May Boat Basin."
With project consultants on board, their preliminary plan should be complete in a few months. Once those results are in the city says they'll look for residents' input through a series of public meetings.
City planners say the multi-million dollar project will be completed in stages.