New Radium plan unveiled - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

New Radium plan unveiled

July 26, 2004

Albany-- The demolition of the historic Radium Springs Casino marked the end of an era for South Georgia, but an exciting plan for tomorrow.  The six-million dollar development would bring the once popular recreation spot back to life and unite Albany. 

What do Chehaw Park, the Flint Riverquarium,  and Radium Springs have in common?

One very special link.  "You are going to go from having the Flint River dividing east to west to being a nucleus of putting everyone together, coming together,"  said County Commission Chairman Jeff Sinyard.

The vision ends at Radium Springs.  "This is going to be the southern leg of what I call a smile around Albany," Sinyard said.  A $5.7 million masterplan has been developed to turn the abandoned spring into a tourist attraction.

"I heard someone call it one of the seven natural wonders, if you compare it Okeefonokee, Tallulah Gorge, Stone Mountain, it really is right in that kind of resource, it is that spectacular."

Developer Ron Huffman says Radium Springs is spectacular with its natural beauty, blue springs and fish, as well as the architecture left over from the casino. And, where the casino once stood, there are plans for a world-class botanical garden. 

"I visulaize in 6 to 8 years Albany will be a tourist destination just like somewhere in Knoxville or Atlanta because we will have all the things to offer,"  said Sinyard.

Offerings that trail down the Flint River. "The Flint River is like a smile around downtown Albany, on the North End we will have Chehaw," said Sinyard. "You are going to come down, stop downtown, you have the Riverquarium and other fantastic sites.  Then you come further south, you have boat docks, observation points, Radium Springs."

A body of water that once divided a city is becoming a bridge.

There are also plans for walking trails, picnic areas, outdoor classrooms, bird observation points, possibly even a boat dock. The plan is in the very early stages, but there is talk about seeking state support to help pay for the project.

The more than 90-acre area is jointly owned by the county and state--the majority was purchased by the Department of Natural Resources.

The county is planning to purchase property across the street for the development.  If approved, the landowners will also donate some nearby property.

The masterplan also calls for Radium Springs Road to be moved near the area to provide a buffer between the springs and the street.

posted at 4:40PM by dave.miller@walb.com

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