The debut of the long-awaited $11 million Sunbury riverfront project is less than 30 days away and the flow of traffic coming to visit the new attraction could be high, a Sunbury councilman said Monday.
The nearly three-year project had some glitches, but Councilman Jim Eister said he is thrilled that it will soon be complete.
“The push is on,” said Eister, who is in charge of the project. “This has been a long time, and I’m excited for people to come and see how amazing this looks.”
A floating stage was one of the original ideas, but that got washed away by state and federal officials, Eister said.
“We were told it was not safe, and it was not legal,” Eister said. “If it doesn’t have to do with fishing or docking, it can’t go in the water.”
Plans were to have boats anchor in the water, and let boaters listen to music or watch live entertainment from their vessels.
The floating stage would have been about 40 feet from the 500-seat amphitheater, but now the permanent stage will sit on a 20-foot by 50-foot concrete slab about 15 feet away.
Initial plans were sent to the state, and it took officials several months to respond, Eister said.
“Regardless, this is going to be something that people can come and enjoy,” Eister said. “I can see families coming here for a day out.”
About a mile of paving work will be completed for a walking trail on the river side of the wall, as well as serve as a service road for maintenance, Eister said.
The trail will have several dozen LED lights and will be monitored by least three security cameras.
Weather slowed down the project for several weeks, but Eister said that HRI, of Bloomsburg, has 20 workers and three crews working.
“These guys are doing a great job,” he said. “I am down here every day, and I’ve learned so much about this now.”
More than 300 yards of the wall was redone in precast concrete and more than $500,000 has been spent on trees and gardens throughout the reconstructed area, which stretches more than a mile, Eister said.
“A lot of people have been utilizing the sidewalks and we expect it will be a lot more,” he said. “I always see people walking here.”
The $2.4 million pedestrian trail, funded by the state Department of Transportation, has 68 new lights and was built on the Front Street side of the floodwall.
Eister said when he sat down with planners three years ago, he envisioned the project as it is now, only smaller.