Conceptual plans for Union Square and Riverwalk move forward

HICKORY, NC (July 17, 2018)…The Bond Implementation Commission held its quarterly meeting on June 26 to discuss updates on the projects and review conceptual design plans for Union Square and the Riverwalk.  The Commission unanimously approved the recommended plans from both subcommittees and presented those recommendations to Hickory City Council at the July 17 City Council meeting.

City Walk and Union Square

After gathering additional input from downtown stakeholders, the overlapping recommendations from the Hickory Downtown Development Association (HDDA) and the City Walk Subcommittee include maintaining the historic feel, improving lighting, increasing outdoor seating, and keeping the connector across the lawn area. 

Conceptual plans for Union Square now include an expanded footprint, emphasis on storefront visibility, a defined center path connector across the lawn, two large grass areas, improved lighting, more outdoor seating, trees along perimeter roads, planters, removing the bus stop, bulb-outs at crosswalks for pedestrian protection, renovated restrooms, and adding music to further enhance the atmosphere downtown.

City Walk plans are currently under review by the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT).  The plans will then go before the Federal Highway Administration for approval before sending the project out to bid.

Riverwalk

Riverwalk plans are progressing, with designs for the iconic bridge over the water nearing 60%.  The Riverwalk will also offer on-land connections to existing and future amenities, including the Lake Hickory Trails, paved greenway and Boy Scout Cabin at Rotary-Geitner Park, future Deidra Lackey Memorial Park, and the future pedestrian bridge across Lake Hickory.  When NCDOT completes improvements to Highway 321, the current northbound bridge will be turned over to the City of Hickory for pedestrian use, furthering access and connectivity from the Riverwalk across Lake Hickory. 

The incorporation of on-land Riverwalk paths stays true to the original bond project concept, while taking advantage of cost savings, lifted buffer regulations, and enhanced connectivity.  The recommended Riverwalk plans will provide visitors with a variety of scenery and multiple vantage points to admire the beauty of Lake Hickory and the surrounding natural environments.

For more information about City Walk, Riverwalk, and other bond projects, please visit www.hickorync.gov/content/bond-information.