Montgomery Whitewater rafting park taking shape

Published: Feb. 21, 2022 at 9:05 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 21, 2022 at 10:16 PM CST
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Montgomery’s new Whitewater project off Maxwell Boulevard is beginning to take shape.

Construction crews broke ground eight months ago, and it’s been full steam ahead ever since.

JESCO Inc. is the company who won the bid to build the $50 million entertainment district. Senior project manager Brian Slaughter said they are in phase one of the building process and are on track to finish the park by May 2023.

Slaughter said the only thing slowing down construction has been the weather, but even that is not projected to knock them off course.

“We have not had any impact from COVID as far as labor. There has been some COVID delays on materials, but they seemed to be worked out in time, so we’re still shooting for May 2023,” Slaughter said.

According to JESCO Vice President Billy Williams, water and sewage pipes are being installed, foundations have begun on the restrooms and base camp, and concrete is about to be poured in the lower pool of the whitewater course. The pump house and filtration building is also starting to take shape.

“The project is going well. We’ve got a lot of activities starting and some are continuing,” Williams said.

There will be a lot to see and do across the 120-acre park adjacent to Maxwell Air Force Base and Interstate 65. There will be climbing walls, zip lining, shopping, dining, concerts, a beer garden and possibly a hotel.

There will not be, however, water slides, tube rides, a wave pool or a lazy river. The facility is strictly a whitewater rafting facility, not a water park.

Visitors can try out one of two man-made, pump-fed whitewater channels. There will be a more relaxed channel for families and amateurs or an Olympic-style “competition” channel with intense currents.

“You can come in and buy an all-day pass and stay here all day. You’ll be able to go down the channel as many times as you want to or you can just hang out,” Slaughter said.

The park is designed to attract more tourists to the city and provide a new recreational activity for residents.

“It’s always great to build a project like this that the community was involved in to get here in the first place, and the community will be involved when it’s open,” Slaughter said.

The Whitewater project is projected to have a $40 million economic impact every year and bring in nearly 300,000 visitors. There will also be 125 jobs up for grabs once it’s complete.

JESCO was responsible for helping construct the Biscuits’ baseball stadium downtown, as well as the Riverwalk Amphitheater. Williams said they hope this facility will boost traffic the same kind of traffic on that side of town.

“It’s the kind of venue that will attract people not only from Montgomery County or the tri-county areas, but from all over the Southeast,” Williams said.

The park will not be operated by the city. It will be operated by Southern Whitewater Development Group.

The project was designed by S2O Design and Engineering, based out of Colorado.

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