Wilmington’s 250-foot Riverwalk rebuild nears completion

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A portion of downtown Wilmington's riverwalk, in front of the Brooks Busilding, is set to open in late January. (Photo courtesy of the city.)
A portion of downtown Wilmington’s riverwalk, in front of the Brooks Building, is set to open in late January. (Photo courtesy of the city.)

WILMINGTON — Downtown Wilmington’s Riverwalk will soon have another portion open in 2017.

The portion of the Riverwalk behind the Brooks Building, located at 18 S. Water St. near the foot of market street, is almost complete, according to City of Wilmington Spokesman Dylan Lee. That portion is slated to be open to foot traffic sometime in late January.

The project began in late April, but Lee said, the actual portion of the Riverwalk was closed earlier. The old Riverwalk was attached to the building and was not “structurally sound,” Lee said.

The city closed the Riverwalk in September 2014 for pedestrian safety, with plans to rebuild.

The new structure has been built and is now detached from Brooks Building, Lee said. Because the building is so old — it was constructed along the Cape Fear River waterfront in 1920 — there are different elevations to the storefronts along the Riverwalk, he added.

The Brooks Building is currently a mixed-use building with shops at the bottom, an events facility and residential units above. The new portion has been built to match the different heights of the doors for store owners to tie into, if they choose, Lee said.

The project includes a portion of the Riverwalk that is 250 feet long and 10 feet wide. The total cost of the project is $700,000 and includes waterlines, lighting and shoreline stabilization beneath the building.

Crews are currently working to finish the structure’s railings and place new lighting. The timeline for completion is dependent on weather conditions during the course of the project.