GALLIPOLIS — Pullins Excavation, of Pomeroy, has officially placed some of its construction equipment along the riverbank in anticipation of ripping up the public use access area to create better parking, docking accommodations and an amphitheater.
“They (Pullins Excavation) said to me the other day, ‘When do you want to start?’” said Gallipolis City Manager Gene Greene. “I said, ‘yesterday.’”
Construction equipment was placed alongside the riverbank over the weekend.
“I think they’re going to move everything in this week because they’re going to have a tool trailer and stuff like that,” Greene said. “I would say probably next week you’ll see a little bit of activity down there. That’s (an estimate), but they normally move pretty quick on (projects).”
Greene does not think there should be any real interference with traffic along First Avenue as the project goes on. The biggest delays may come with an upcoming fishing tournament reportedly in late August. Greene said if problems occur with parking in the public access area, First Avenue will likely be reserved for boaters seeking to participate in the tournament.
Greene says he thinks the contractor would likely start on the amphitheater first as that is the furthest point from any entry made by vehicles to the public access area. The city manager said ground would likely be processed before any asphalt laying was done as moving heavy equipment across the pavement during excavation could potentially damage newly made parking areas.
Greene said the docks near the boat ramp into the river would likely be pulled and replaced with something more handicap-accessible. Greene said he would like to see a larger boat entrance area also placed in the public access area to allow for some of the larger “dining riverboats” to stop in Gallipolis. Greene’s hope is this may attract more business to the downtown area.
Greene said he believed the contracting bid was ultimately $792,000. The city received a roughly $1 million grant in order to make waterfront improvements. Any extra money for the project would be put back toward extra sidewalks or change orders, according to Greene.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-46-2342, ext. 2103.