Owensboro riverfront project moving forward

Posted by: Ben Garbarek  bio | email

After five years, Owensboro's riverfront project is now moving forward after awarding the construction bid for the project to Hall and Goettle Construction, and not a moment too soon.

"The key for the growth of this community and for this community becoming a quality community is the Riverfront and downtown," said Bill Parrish, City Manager.  "I purposefully use 'and'. They're linked together."

Taking advantage of the riverfront is crucial.

"It's critical to who we are," he said.  "If you think about cities like Miami, what is it that draws you to Miami? It's the beach. If you think about Owensboro, the river is our beach."

With a sluggish economy, Parrish said this isn't such a bad time to begin such a large scale project.

"The amount of jobs created," he said.  "Folks will come from out of town and stay in our hotels, eat at our restaurants, buy clothes from our stores. This is just a tremendous opportunity at a difficult time."

The project will not only revamp the riverfront, but also keep valuable property from washing away.

"Over the years a considerable amount of the riverfront has eroded away until we have less land than we regain through this project," said Tony Cecil, Operations Manager.

After the initial bids came in higher than what they hoped, the city reshaped their plans into something more affordable without cutting corners.

"Making a couple changes we've reduced significantly the overall bids we had before, by almost 11 million dollars," Cecil said.