Southbank Riverwalk flooding will take time to fix, says city’s public works department

The Southbank Riverwalk has been flooded for nearly two months now and area residents want to know when it will be usable again.

The city’s Public Works Department says this is all a waiting game. The city’s Public Works Department told us last week they can’t do much about the flooding on the Southbank Riverwalk because it’s all in mother nature’s hands.


Action News Jax spoke with the director of Jacksonville’s Public Works Department, Steve Long. He says the city has been working to fix the Riverwalk’s flooding problems for the last several weeks.

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“During Ian there was a water seal that was broken, and we actually had a plan to start that repair in the coming days,” said Long.

Long says the city needed to wait for the Riverwalk to dry out in order to repair the broken seal. Brennan Gasser, a facility specialist from Wisconsin visiting Jacksonville, agrees.

“My first thought was, why don’t they just pump the water out with a stump pump, just stick a pump in and pump it out? But it would just continue to fill up if there’s a break on any side,” said Gasser.

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“We’ll get our contractor back on board to start that repair,” Long said.

The problem now is that no one was expecting a tropical storm to dump rain and bring high river levels to Jacksonville when we were just two weeks away from the end of hurricane season. So, while the city was waiting for the area to dry out, Tropical Storm Nicole ensured that the wait would last a bit longer.

Action News Jax First Alert Weather team says the next moon phase will be on Nov. 23, affecting river levels again. In the meantime, some onshore winds coming later this week could cause additional minor flooding.

The city’s public works department is also trying to address other problem areas, such as flooding on Lasalle Street. They say a new pump station is being designed and that construction will start next year. That pump should help with flooding in the area.

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