Watchdog: Follow the Money

Chattanooga's $100m waterfront project sinking into Tennessee River

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Watchdog,Tennessee,Kelly Cohen,Follow the Money,Bob Corker,Chattanooga,Constitution

Chattanooga, Tenn., spent $120 million on its downtown showpiece waterfront -- the 21st Century Waterfront -- less than a decade ago, yet it has already sunk six inches into the Tennessee River in some places.

Repairing the damage and stopping the erosion will cost taxpayers about $9 million, according to the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Writes the TFP's Joy Lukachick:

And Chattanooga taxpayers, who paid to build it during former Mayor [now U.S. Sen.] Bob Corker's administration, will once again have to open their wallets, this time to pay an estimated $9 million to stop the undershore erosion causing Ross's Landing -- the spot that hosts regional and national events such as the Riverbend Festival and Head of the Hooch -- to crack.

The story of the waterfront and the Passage, a water feature alongside the Tennessee Aquarium, has been debated in court and scrutinized in city audits that attempted to pin responsibility for dangerous electrical and technical failures found in an inspection two years after the project opened with much fanfare in 2005.

Construction is projected to begin in November and take about six months.

Chattanooga’s City Council is slated to approve the winning bid on the project sometime this summer.

“City officials said the expense was approved in the 2013 capital budget, and that the repair must be made to ensure the structure is sound,” the Times Free Press reported.

Read the full article here.

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