Turn to the River project aims to reconnect downtown to the Wabash

Efforts continue to better connect downtown Terre Haute with the Wabash River.

Posted: Sep. 21, 2018 10:09 PM
Updated: Sep. 21, 2018 10:24 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) -- Efforts continue to better connect downtown Terre Haute with the Wabash River.

We told you earlier this week on News 10 about the Turn to the River project and a public presentation. We wanted to find out more about what the project means for you.

Art Spaces is a non-profit leading the charge to link downtown to the riverfront. The theory is the Wabash is an asset and one that is not being used to it's potential.

Art Spaces Executive Director Mary Kramer says, "All of the ideas in Turn to the River came out of this community and that's really exciting."

The plan calls for creating an obvious course for people to walk from 3rd Street, around the local government buildings and to the riverfront. Along the way, art and sculptures will be used to make the space more appealing. The decaying fountain outside city hall will be replaced. Space will be created for food trucks near the parking lot and a bridge overlook will allow people to take in the sights and sounds of the Wabash.

Wabash Valley resident Angie Gifford says, "Really tying everything together, utilizing the spaces and the artwork and all of that maybe will draw people closer to it and really grow a new appreciation."

The idea was born in 2008 and planning and fundraising has continued since that time. The Turn to the River project has been awarded several state and federal grants and project leaders say people will soon see the money put to work.

Kramer says, "The beauty of this project is that it can be built incrementally without really hurting any part of it."

Project leaders plan to break ground on part of the project next year and hope to have everything done in the next five years.

Gifford says, "I think it's taking the amount of time that it probably should. A lot of times when things are done a little too quickly it doesn't come out the way everyone hopes it does so really be intentional about the plan and the process and having a plan in place for the upkeep and maintenance, I think that's all very important and I think that not rushing it is probably going to make it come out better in the long run."

For more information about Turn to the River click here.

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