A footbridge that carries Northbank Riverwalk visitors over an inlet will be demolished this summer and replaced by a shoreline path designed to let people launch kayaks.

 

The launch at Sidney Gefen Park, close to Riverside Avenue and Forest Street in Brooklyn, is being added as City Hall works on increasing activity around Jacksonville’s waterfronts.

It’s one of two new launch areas downtown that have been designed to be handicapped-accessible, City Council President Lori Boyer told people at a waterfront activation meeting this month.

Work on the $205,000 project should start within a few weeks and take about five months to complete, said Tia Ford, a city spokeswoman.

Hager Construction Co. will remove the footbridge and create a path hugging the north shore of the inlet. The path will connect to a walkway of pavers already in place near the inlet’s other side, and a smaller walkway will lead to the kayak launching spot.

The wooden footbridge opened for public use less than 15 years ago, but it shows decay from the regular cycle of rain and drying in bright sunlight.

The other downtown kayak launching area being planned for handicapped-accessibility will be on the Southbank next to the Duval County School Board’s offices.

Steve Patterson: (904) 359-4263