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cltbwimob

Charlotte Waterway Development

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This topic is for all things related to waterway development potential in the region. Any news on developments concerning the Catawba River, Rocky River, Lake Wylie, Lake Norman, Mountain Island Lake, Creeks, etc. is most definitely welcome. However, I would like for this to also be a thread of ideas on how the area can use it's waterways to create jobs, generate investment, and increase development potential. These ideas can be anything from tourist attractions to residential developments to more industrial ideas. They can also be as mild as a greenway idea to as wild as a deep-water port idea. If you would please rate your idea on a scale of 1-10 with 1 being extremely feasible and could possibly happen and with 10 being almost certainly never to happen. If you have a wild idea, please explain your reasoning behind it.

I will start.

Idea Rating=1-6 (1=mild idea, 6=wild idea)

My idea is to develop an uptown waterway connection. The mild side of this idea is to just extend the proposed Irwin Creek Greenway into downtown Charlotte. In fact, I think this may already be in the greenway plans. This is similar to the proposals in other threads concerning the Little Sugar Creek Greenway. The only difference is that Irwin Creek actually goes inside the beltway. The wild side of the uptown waterway connection is the idea of building a canal, with a basin in uptown, to Lake Wylie. This would allow for an artificial waterfront in downtown Charlotte as well as providing a navigable water connection from Lake Wylie to Uptown for boaters. It would aslo allow for the construction of a Marina in uptown. My canal related ideas would use mostly existing creeks/ creekbeds widened to 150-250 feet and "dredged" to 10-15 ft deep, altough some portions of the canal would be completely new trenches. Here is a map of my idea. I tried to follow existing creekbeds and terrain contours to minimize elevation changes and avoid having to place locks along the canal.

As far as development along the canal, I think the best thing would be to have the canal bordered by a small green space with trees, followed by a street with sidewalks on either side and buildings on the side of the street opposite the canal. These buildings could have street level retail such as cafes, shops, etc with 3 or 4 floors of lofts/ apartments above the retailers. Here is a picture from the Amsterdam canals that should help everyone visualize what I am saying.

Any other refining thoughts on this idea? I know it probably will never happen.

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I'll admit I don't know much about this, but I don't know how they could turn a creek into a canal. The creeks flow into the rivers, not the other way around. Simply widening it and dredging it wouldn't change that.

It'd be cool to see some development along Irwin or Sugar Creek in the future, but I just don't see it happening. Irwin is surrounded by residential inside the loop already and Little Sugar Creek is in the middle of major highways. The area around them is considered flood plain as well, so I'm not sure we could really build anything in that area except greenways.

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What about a man-made canal akin to Riverwalk that was connected to Little Sugar or Irwin for overflow and greenway connectivity? The pond in Marshall Park sits roughly where a tributary to Little Sugar used to be.

For Irwin, I could see an urban canal or even just a development with a major water feature in an urban plaza between Trade and 5th linking Gateway Village and J&WU with the greenway. The proposed Sycamore mixed-use development by Ray's Splash Planet is similar.

For Little Sugar, Belk is a barrier (though I've stated elsewhere that I'd like to see it nixed someday between Caldwell and 5th). But in the meantime, maybe link CPCC's Quad and Independence Park via a more natural looking greenway branch using the grade-separations beneath Kings and Charlottetowne, roughly following the alley-looking Park Drive sandwiched between Memorial Stadium and CPCC.

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I'll admit I don't know much about this, but I don't know how they could turn a creek into a canal. The creeks flow into the rivers, not the other way around. Simply widening it and dredging it wouldn't change that.

It'd be cool to see some development along Irwin or Sugar Creek in the future, but I just don't see it happening. Irwin is surrounded by residential inside the loop already and Little Sugar Creek is in the middle of major highways. The area around them is considered flood plain as well, so I'm not sure we could really build anything in that area except greenways.

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As a former resident of upstate New York, I can assure you that dredging is the last thing we want to do. Dredging releases an enormous amount of toxins and pollutants that are buried deep in the muddy base of these waterways. Plus, the noise, smell, and inconvenience to those living along these waterways is unbearable. Then, you have to properly dispose of the dredged muck. The costs are prohibitive and the in-fighting among municipalities who touch these projects can take years and years to resolve. I will admit that Charlotte definitely could benefit from greater access to water front areas. I remember years ago someone proposed ringing the whitewater center around uptown. That sure would've been ambitious, but the plans were scrapped fairly early in the planning stages of that facility. Does anyone have any pictures from those plans?

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Wow! I have had the same idea (turning creeks into canals in Charlotte) running through my head for a few years now (based on travels to Europe and seeing the beautiful canals in cities over there). I was pretty sure I am the only one crazy enough to wate time thinking about it. I'm glad to see there's at least one other who likes to dream big. Unforteunately, I don't think such a project would be seriously considered in the real world. The cost would be insanely huge (porobably dwarfing the rail lines I would guess). I'll be happy if we can just get the streetcar done.

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Cltbwimob you can go even further in saying, if the UAE can build islands and crazy structures on nothing but sand, then we can build rivers even mountains if we wanted to. Just needs a leader who's ambitious enough and has no regard for how much it would cost. Is there any type of commodity that we can exploit/export to other countries for billions or trillions in revenue? Anyone know if we have the right climate for converting our tobacco fields into opium? If Afghanistan can generate $65 Billion Dollars from this why cant we?

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Cltbwimob you can go even further in saying, if the UAE can build islands and crazy structures on nothing but sand, then we can build rivers even mountains if we wanted to. Just needs a leader who's ambitious enough and has no regard for how much it would cost. Is there any type of commodity that we can exploit/export to other countries for billions or trillions in revenue? Anyone know if we have the right climate for converting our tobacco fields into opium? If Afghanistan can generate $65 Billion Dollars from this why cant we?

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Cltbwimob you can go even further in saying, if the UAE can build islands and crazy structures on nothing but sand, then we can build rivers even mountains if we wanted to. Just needs a leader who's ambitious enough and has no regard for how much it would cost. Is there any type of commodity that we can exploit/export to other countries for billions or trillions in revenue? Anyone know if we have the right climate for converting our tobacco fields into opium? If Afghanistan can generate $65 Billion Dollars from this why cant we?

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I like where you're thinking, but the EPA would have a stroke if this were proposed. I think having an extremely high quality greenway system is the best way to go.

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If Charlotte does anything of the sort, I think Charlotte should just build a huge monument. Maybe Charlotte can have a Gateway Arch of such to commemorate Charlotte as being the centre of the North And South? Or in place of a Giant arch such as that of St. Louis, Charlotte could have another giant structure of some-sort.

It seems much cheaper to build a monument/icon than a waterway development - But at the same time, I think it would be just as good as an idea as a waterway. Perhaps a Statue of Liberty but instead of Miss Liberty, make it Queen Charlotte.

I don't know - In my opinion, the idea of a Waterway is beyond too expensive to even concieve. It's an amazing idea and I wish it could happen; however, the feasibility of such a plan keeps me from ever even pondering over such a project.

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