Riverfront gives us all a reason to smile

Published 1:40 pm Thursday, September 3, 2015

For all of our criticism of public officials — and lately, we’ve had quite a bit — we must tip our hats to two projects that truly typify great public projects.

After literally decades and decades of largely ignoring our area’s most stunningly amazing natural wonders, many years ago — led by the City of Vidalia — our community finally started to realize the importance of flaunting our first-row seats to the greatest river in our country.

Development of the Vidalia Riverfront began more than 10 years ago, when the dream of transforming the rather unsightly, dusty area along Vidalia’s riverfront into a beautiful public project was first hatched.

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Previously the area along the river beneath the bridges was space the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had used to create concrete mats for riverbank erosion control.

Today, thousands of locals and visitors alike walk along the riverwalk enjoying spectacular views of the mighty Mississippi River.

Vidalia recently extended the riverwalk to take in even more of the river’s length with plans to eventually create a track, of sorts, that runs along the riverfront and back across the top of the protective levees.

In Mississippi, the city’s work with the help of the state transportation folks as well as the Natchez Community Alliance to create and expand the Natchez Trails project is worthy of great fanfare.

The Trails project includes equally amazing views of the river, nature trails and a great “museum of the streets” which gives walkers a glimpse into the specific history of the place on which they’re standing.

As Natchez prepares to celebrate its 300thanniversary of existence in 2016, we cannot help but pause and say, “thanks,” for the great work done to prepare our area for visitors.