The work to build a "sea wall" to protect the crumbling "hard edge" at Ross's Landing Park will disrupt some riverfront activities, but steps will be taken to minimize disruptions for two major events - the Riverbend Festival and the Head of the Hooch, city officials said Thursday.
He noted that the 21st Century Waterfront was constructed in 2004 and Riverbend was able to hold its 10-day festival at the current site.
Larry Zehnder, parks and recreation administrator, said final drafting of the plans for the expensive fix will take place over the next several months. Construction should start early in 2013.
He said the plan is to do the extensive repairs - estimated to cost up to $8 million - "all at once." He said, "We are going to fix the hard edge so that we don't have to deal with this problem again."
The city earlier spent $1.5 million to make numerous repairs to "The Passage" section of the 21st Century Waterfront and is now dealing with a fix "to keep the park from falling into the river."
The city filed suit against the designers and builders of the $110 million 21st Century Waterfront, but a judge ruled that it was filed after the statute of limitations had run out. The city is appealing that decision to the Tennessee Supreme Court.
Also, Mr. Zehnder said the city has hired the firm of Jones and Jones to take an overall look of current usage of Ross's Landing Park and suggest any changes.
He said one issue is changing the speed limit along Riverfront Parkway so it will be easier for pedestrians to reach the park from the vicinity of the Aquarium.
Mr. Zehnder said there will be contact with "stakeholders" along the river throughout the repair and park planning process.