Surf Betsy gets a chance to see draft whitewater park proposals | News

ELIZABETHTON — Members of the Surf Betsy Advisory Board recently had the chance to review and comment on a 38-page report which is the Phase 1 evaluation of alternative locations for a proposed whitewater park on the Rivers Doe or Watauga in Elizabethton.

The report was created by River Restorations, the group hired by Elizabethton City Council to study development plans for the park. River Restorations is an engineering company from Carbondale, Colorado. The company specializes in environmentally friendly river construction techniques and its ability to design and implement river projects.

The assessment provided a first glimpse of what a whitewater park might look like in Elizabethton’s future outdoor recreation program.

“We are very pleased with the work River Restorations has done with this study as it will be a key component in determining whether or not a whitewater park will work along the Doe and Watauga Rivers,” said Parks Manager Mike Mains. and leisure. “We were extremely fortunate to have been able to work with the College of Business (at East Tennessee State University), as they also helped us with the economic impact component of such a facility. Now, having River Restorations take this next big step in the design research phase is a big win in the research for this project.

The report will examine the two rivers and how they could possibly be developed for use in a whitewater park. He will identify several locations along the Doe and Watauga where wave features would be constructed for whitewater activities. Estimated cost, annual maintenance, and comparisons to other successful whitewater park facilities will all be included in the final report.

Some Surf Betsy advisory board members liked their take on the first draft.

“The report was impressive, very comprehensive and well supported by real-world data and experience,” said President Bill Schooley. “River Restorations’ expertise is undeniable. This report puts the project into perspective, resolves many questions and points to a defined way forward. We can visualize the end result and it looks great.

Advisory Team Member Wes Bradley said, “This plan provides great direction and clarity on the potential to enhance outdoor recreation in our region like never before. The plan helps define the project(s) in potential locations, the potential budget for each item, and all of the many government agencies we expect to work with during the project.

“It also shows great metrics of how Surf Betsy elements would compare to other existing whitewater parks,” Bradley said. “River Restorations’ Phase 1 report was excellent. This really helped bring the possibilities of the potential project to life, while helping to answer several key questions/concerns. »

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