Riverfront’s next phase on tap soon

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 8, 2001

VIDALIA, La. – Construction of an amphitheater at the Vidalia Landing riverfront site should start next week, Camo Construction Owner Mike Grantham said.

A bid of $394,328.40 for the project was awarded last week to Camo Construction of Vidalia, said Sidney Murray Jr., chairman of the Riverfront Authority.

&uot;Construction will probably take us about five to six months,&uot;&160;Grantham said.

Email newsletter signup

The project’s second phase will also include construction of a fountain plaza, restrooms, landscaping and shaded seating, according to Murray.

&uot;The architect is working on plans for the fountain and the restroom building now,&uot; Murray said Thursday, referring to Doug Ashe of Alexandria-based Ashe Broussard Weinzettle Architects.

&uot;If everything goes smoothly, the town will probably advertise for bids for the fountain plaza in April,&uot; he said. Most infrastructure needed for the $45 million Vidalia Landing project, such as roads and utility lines, has already been built, according to Murray.

Meanwhile, local officials are still seeking $13 million for the construction of an interpretive visitors center at the site. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., is working with local officials to help find the necessary funding, Murray said.

When completed, Vidalia Landing is also expected to include condominiums, recreational fields and other attractions.

An RV park is expected to officially open this month south of the Mississippi River bridge.

And a medical complex featuring imaging, ambulatory surgery, industrial medicine facilities and specialists’ offices is scheduled to be open on the riverfront by June 2002.

Officials have said the development, which has been in the works since 1992, could bring 400 jobs to a parish with high unemployment and would attract more tourists.