Breaking Ground on Parkersburg's Riverfront Project

By: Cathleen Moxley Email
By: Cathleen Moxley Email

For years folks in Parkersburg have been waiting for the city to fix up its riverfront, and Monday, city officials took a big step forward in making that happen.

It was ground-breaking day for Parkersburg's Riverfront Project.

This project is something that many say won't just enhance the riverfront, but will be beneficial for the entire city.

Nearly every day, Harry Batten gets a good look at Parkersburg's Riverfront. Being the captain of the Island Belle Sternwheeler, he takes hundreds of people to and from Blennerhassett Island. And for years, he's heard talk of revitalizing the riverfront.

"Now I say they're actually gonna get it done. I say the funding's in place and it's gonna be a reality," Batten said.

"There have been a lot of ups and downs and false starts, and finally today is the day that it begins," Parkersburg Mayor Bob Newelll said.

So with a ground breaking ceremony, the riverfront is set to become a major asset to the city.

"It'll bring a lot of people downtown, for a number of reasons," Mayor Newell said.

"The more improvements you make, the different types of activities you'll draw," Batten said.

By adding an amphitheater, a walking trail and more boating docks, the hope is that the riverfront will attract more tourists and bring more residents downtown.

"It'll prove to be a boom for the local economy because not only will the Island boat use it, it'll attract more boats from other places; as in maybe building up the Sternwheel Regatta again," Batten said.

Now that ground has been broken, the next step is to start construction, which is set for August 1st.

Mayor Newell expects the project to take anywhere from 18 months to two years, but says part of it should be ready to go by next summer.


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  • by steve Location: parkersburg on Jul 15, 2009 at 05:47 PM
    thats nice but wish the city would show as much interest in the rest of the city and start repairing the streets and install some storm drainage in some of the neighborhoods look at all the money that was used to make the strip clubs on 7th street look good we cant even get them to repair a sidewalk
  • by JIM Location: PKB on Jul 15, 2009 at 09:21 AM
    I hope Mr Bobby Newell isn't planning to use taxpayer dollars to clean up the mess from inevitable flooding. Oh well, those dollars don't seem to be doing much else..
  • by MaryAnn Location: Eastern Panhandle, WV on Jul 14, 2009 at 01:26 PM
    The point has been needing this for years. With most tourists and visitors going to the point, they need to make it one of the areas of most concern. The walking trail will be nice when they get it finished. Hopefully this will give more opportunities for events to be held at the point as in the past.
  • by Debi Location: Parkersburg on Jul 14, 2009 at 10:14 AM
    I am excited for this to happen to Parkersburg. I think a walking track is great. A big plus for Parkersburg!
  • by steve Location: Southside on Jul 14, 2009 at 09:47 AM
    Does any one know where they have plans of what they are doing posted. You know to show what it will look like and its layout. I was just wondering.
  • by Paul Location: Pburg on Jul 13, 2009 at 06:27 PM
    Any improvement would be a real plus. Marietta has a pretty nice place up there, we don't even have a painted 'PARKERSBURG' to be proud of. Just a little roadway, and a turret-type point.
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