Town Common Bulkhead & Esplanade Project

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Project Overview

Reimagine Resilience: Protect Town Common’s esplanade and park from flooding, while improving access to the Tar River.

A defining feature of Town Common, Greenville’s central park, is the 1,500-foot-long esplanade, or walkway, along the Tar River. Originally constructed in 1968, the steel bulkhead wall supporting the esplanade walkway is at the end of its anticipated service life. Recent inspections have found increased corrosion of the steel bulkhead wall. Based on the amount and location of corrosion and the age of the structure, estimated repair costs exceed replacement. Replacement of the existing bulkhead wall is required.

Replacement concepts have been developed that continue to protect Town Common from flooding and erosion, while also improving access to the river. The concepts considered minimizing maintenance and cleanup after floods, considered how the park is currently used, considered the fact that the amphitheater will remain in its current location, and how proposed park features could provide new experiences for Greenville residents and visitors.

Design Concept

Concept B design

Concept B image

TC Bulkhead conceptual image

*Conceptual image of terraced seating (above)

A tiered approach, this concept manages the river’s occasional flood waters in a more nature-based design; a portion of the existing bulkhead wall is removed to create a more natural transition down toward the water. Proposed improvements include:

  • Constructing an elevated boardwalk, which allows for pedestrian access even when flood water levels are high.
  • Designing a natural and gradual accessible transition from the bulkhead wall to the floating dock, which eliminates the need for switchbacks.
  • Providing terraced seating down to the water’s edge along with a floating boat dock for day-trippers.
Contact Details

Mark Nottingham, AICP

City of Greenville Recreation & Parks

2000 Cedar Lane

Greenville, NC 27858

(252) 329-4242 (office)