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New Look For Old Town Sacramento River Walk

Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio

Barbara and Dwight Braswell of Virginia Beach, Virginia are in the middle of a cross-country road trip. Dwight can negotiate the planks of the river walk in Old Sacramento. Barbara cannot.

Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio

Stamped concrete will soon replace about 60,000 square feet of uneven wooden planks that make up part of the river walk in Old Sacramento.

The city officially kicked off the project Monday.

It's good news for people like Barbara Braswell. She is visiting from Virginia, but could only see the Delta King riverboat from afar because of the planks in her way. 

"I have Parkinson's and I have to stay seated. My husband has to push me around," says Braswell. "So, we were so excited to see the events that were going on up here. He tried to push me and I tried to walk. I was unable to get (up there) because of the way the path was."

Mike Stewart is the project manager for Unger Construction. He says the path will be much smoother once the $7.7 million project is completed, but will look much the same. The concrete will be treated to make it look like wood.

"The release agent will be a different color than the actual base color. So, when you stamp it, you're stamping that release agent into it and it stains," says Stewart.

Kirk Thompsen is with the City Public Works Department. He says there are 60,000 bolts holding 60,000 square feet of planks. He says a bobcat will rip out the boards, but some of the bolts are stuck.

"We did a test sample and basically the only thing you're going to be able to see are splinter boards and we'll have to come in with grinders and torches to torch off the bolts," says Thompsen.

According to Chris Maxwell with Unger Construction the boards were installed 30 years ago and were injected with a special product then to delay the rate of decomposition.

He says that means the boards must be taken to a special facility for disposal. As many of the bolts, nuts and washers as possible will be saved for re-use.

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