The last step in restoring the Glen Rose River Walk to its full beauty is about to be taken.
The River Walk, inside Heritage Park, sustained damage in two separate heavy rain events that occurred in the summer of 2016. It forced the popular walkway to be closed for about seven months, before it was opened again to the public in late January.
The popular scenic walkway stretches from the park to the dam, near Big Rocks Park.
The second and final stage, involving concrete work at the canoe ramp and boat launch area, should be completed soon.
Jim Holder, public works director for the city of Glen Rose, said on Monday afternoon that the project could be completed by the contractor from Blum, Texas, in about a week and a half. That is, or course, barring any weather delays.
“They will be replacing blocks that got washed away. Then they will be installing a hand rail, and restoring dirt that was washed away,” Holder said. “We’re looking for it to be done in the next week and a half.”
Holder said that grant money for the project had been approved by FEMA several months ago. Holder said that some of the work in the second phase was delayed to coincide with the temporary river water draining done as part of the Paluxy River silt cleanup that is being conducted by the Somervell County Water District.
Holder added that there is a lot of government “red tape” in getting the required permits.
Holder said that some of the original composite fiber boards that got warped in the flooding were replaced instead by concrete work — which turned out to be less expensive.
The overlook area that was destroyed and closed to the public was not part of the river walk restoration effort, Holder noted.
“We were skeptical about re-doing it, and FEMA is real picky about what they pay for,” Holder said.
On Monday of last week, sidewalk concrete work was done, and a ramp was finished by the middle of that week.
City Council member Dennis Moore said that 75 percent of the repair costs of approximately $100,000 were funded by the FEMA grant.
Previous repairs to fencing and light fixtures that were destroyed along the river walk were done months ago, Moore noted.
“A lot of locals use it walking, and tourists use it,” Moore said of the river walk. “It’s a beautiful river we have.”