Rome Public Services Director Kirk Milam said a few too many surprises turned up by work crews forced a slight redesign of the riverfront plaza on the Oostanaula River near The Forum and Town Green.
“A major issue has been the amount of unsuitable materials we’re excavating,” he said. “There’s a lot of debris; rubble buried over the years as things have been built and demolished.”
The $2.7 million project includes a floating plaza and boat dock with tiered sidewalks connecting the downtown trail system from Unity Point to the Chief John Ross Memorial Bridge.
Plans called for poured concrete retaining walls to control erosion. Instead, a concrete cap will rest on fiberglass sheet piles that are being driven about 15 feet into the ground.
“The cost will be comparable, and it’s cheaper than removing the debris,” Milam said.
Progress has been slowed somewhat by the redesign, and by the challenge of managing the heavy equipment and long pilings in the relatively small work space. It will likely be late summer before construction starts on the dock.
Milam’s report came during a meeting of Rome’s public works committee. Updates also were presented on other downtown improvement projects.
Draft rendering of the riverfront plaza project
Map of downtown Rome