The First Phase of the Saluda Riverwalk is out for bid. It is the realization of thousands of dreams for public access to our rivers. Funded by the Richland County Penny, the Saluda Riverwalk will become part of the City of Columbia’s Greenway and part of the Regional Three Rivers Greenway system. Expectations are that construction could start in in early 2017 and be completed in a year.
The River Alliance started this effort in 1995 by asking our regions citizens what they wanted to do with their rivers. The collective answer was the Three Rivers Greenway. First proposed by the Alliance in 1996, the Greenway has been built piece by piece. The Saluda Riverwalk will be completed in two phases. Phase One opens three miles of access to the lower Saluda River from Interstate 26, goes around the Riverbanks Zoo and ends at the Broad River. It sets the stage for Phase Two, which will cross the Broad and land on Columbia’s Riverfront Park.
The design mirrors the current Greenway, with lighted ADA paths, board walks and timber bridges. It will add a parking area off Candi Lane, three restrooms and a Parks Maintenance building. It winds around the existing trees and follows the trace of the historic Saluda Canal. At the upper end, it will connect to the West Columbia SCDOT Saluda River Crossing. At the lower end, when Phase Two is complete, it will connect to the museum cluster and to the downtowns of Cayce, Columbia and West Columbia.