New in-store recreation area plans for Savannah Lock and Dam


AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW / WAGT) – The new recreation area along the Savannah River plans to replace the ruined lock and dam. It has been a heated debate for several years now, with the courts telling the corps they must keep the river level. Now the Savannah Riverkeeper says he has a new plan that might work.

The fight over what to do with the lock and dam has been quiet for a little while now, but there has been movement behind the scenes. The Savannah Riverkeeper on Wednesday unveiled a plan that sounds too good to be true. A special type of flood valve designed to keep the level of the river at its level, as well as a park with lots of bells and whistles.

Say goodbye to restricted signage and hello to the future potential of Convergence Park.

“Revitalizing the park by making it a place we can always enjoy but also attract people to our community, we will all benefit,” said Tonya Bonitatibus, Savannah Riverkeeper.

The dream of the river keeper is to get rid of the current lock and dam by putting special crest gates in its place. They say the new gates would maintain the water level of the river and give fish passage. But the bonus to this plan, the water can be quickly changed from whitewater rafting course to kayaking with just the push of a button. There is also an area for you to relax in a wading pool, a new boat launch and fishing docks in the plane.

“I think it’s actually really crucial that this can continue and actually get better in the future because South Augusta has a lot to offer,” she said.

They modeled part of the project from a similar project in Columbus, Ga. That has skyrocketed their downtown area and tourism industry, hoping to bring more growth, sustainability, and pleasure in Augusta.

But how do we pay for it? They are seeking federal funding to replace the dam, the city to help with recreation. And you, private partners to organize other activities such as kayak rental, zip lines and catering.

We have contacted the city and the army corps to find out what they know about the plan and if it is a possibility. If you want to know more visit: Savannah Race at Convergence Park.

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