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In honor of the completion of all 1.75 miles of the Riverwalk, November 18, 2017 was officially "Riverwalk Day" in the City of Wilmington. Thirty years in the making, the Riverwalk is now open for the entire length. Thank you to those who helped make it happen!

Marina Before Renovation  Marina After Renovation

Interesting Information:

  • 1.75 miles of Riverwalk stretching along the bank of the Cape Fear River in historic downtown Wilmington, running from the foot of Nun Street on the South to the Isabel Holmes bridge on the North
  • Consists of a variety of styles:
    • Elevated timber boardwalk
    • Concrete walkway
    • Integrated with Riverfront Park
    • Area behind the Diligence
    • Area behind CFCC (integrated with a riverfront plaza)
  • Recent improvements included:
    • In partnership with Sawmill Point, finishing the Northern access point, where people can park on Nutt Street and access the Riverwalk
    • Bulkhead repair and Riverwalk replacement behind the Coastline Inn
    • In partnership with Pier 33, completion of stretch of Riverwalk behind restaurant complex just North of the Port City Marina
    • Renovations to the bulkhead and portions of Riverfront Park near Market Street (the Riverwalk runs through the park)
    • New Riverwalk behind the Brooks Building, replacing one of the oldest sections
  • Since 1980, City of Wilmington has invested more than $33 million in additions, improvements and repairs to the Riverwalk, which has significant maintenance needs because of the Cape Fear River’s swift currents. Over $10 million has been spent in the last three years.
  • Development Challenges: A myriad of issues, many of which we faced with one or more of the sections that were built over the years, including: environmental concerns; challenge of building a structure in the fast moving, very strong currents of the Cape Fear River; dealing with different property owners as each section was built and coordinating with various involved entities; cost concerns, etc. However, even though it has not been easy, the city has more than recouped its public investment to build the Riverwalk through the economic growth that was stimulated by it. For example, there are more than $250 million worth of riverfront development with Riverwalk access/connections currently underway or just completed within the last year.

Other notable facts:

  • City’s #1 tourist attraction
  • Provides access to public parks, shopping, dining and museums, riverfront views of the Battleship NC, and historic interpretive signage along the route
  • Also connects with the River to the Sea Bikeway, EastCoast Greenway and Cape Fear Historic (Scenic) Byway
  • Public parking available in nearby parking decks and on-street
  • Public docking available for boaters
  • 2015 named the top riverfront in the country by USA Today
  • Home to public art installations
  • US National Parks Service has designated Riverwalk’s Orange Street Landing as part of its National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Program

Riverwalk Day Proclamation

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