Wednesday, August 12, 2009

My four take aways

The audio and main handout from last night's meeting can be found at this earlier post. My initial thoughts? I think there were four main things I took away from the meeting.

1. You remember that silly sidewalk that runs along the western edge of the Cobblestone Landing -- and helps destroy its continued use as a boat landing? Mr. Lendermon confirms that the sidewalk will be under water about half the year. (He didn't say what part of the year that sidewalk will overlook a field of rip-rap.)

That silly, underwater sidewalk.

2. The bullet that suggests the plan will "Continuation of and improvements to the docking of boats?" Mr. Lendermon and Captain Lozier confirmed that the word "docking" should be parsed in a very narrow sense: Parking of the Memphis Queen Lines riverboats when they are not in use. They will board and unload at Beale Street Landing.

3. Mr. Lendermon confirmed that the two acres of cobblestones that the City carted away in 1994 haven't really been lost. They are stored on a City dump somewhere and will be brought back when their time comes.

Doing it on the cheap

The first three points were not the biggest news to me. But the fourth item was a great revelation. As a "take-away," it took my breath away.

It turns out that the RDC considered and dismissed the alternative of doing the job right. Restoring the lower part of the Landing with anything other than rip-rap would require building a coffer dam to dry the area out. That would cost an additional $5 million. Whereas, rip-rap can be applied "wet" (i.e., dumped into the water) and is itself much cheaper than concrete or other materials.

That $5 million savings could go into, say, building bustier-like "islands" for Beale Street Landing, which is a bigger priority since those islands will no doubt attract so many tourists to the City.

Artist's conception of the tourist magnets.

Further reading

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