As the River front Development Project continues in Linden, the Wismar shore has received a facelift with the construction of a walkway and other facilities aimed at improving the aesthetics of the river front at Burnham Drive. This forms part of the Ministry of Public Work’s $30 M River Front Development Project, which is being executed on both the Wismar and Mackenzie shore simultaneously. On the Wismar shore, the facility was placed obliquely opposite the Wismar Municipal Market where a boardwalk was constructed in 2019 by the previous administration for $10 M. On the Mackenzie shore, construction was done at Coop Crescent. The construction should include primary facilities and aims to contribute to the social and economic advancement of the town. To be included in the future, are recreational, environmental and sanitation facilities.
As part of the government’s mission to improve the aqua-tourism potential of towns, the river front project seeks to provide the necessary amenities that will be enjoyed by tourists visiting to partake in water sports or to just enjoy the view of the river. Linden is the only town with a river running through it.
Vendors of the Mackenzie Municipal Market have expressed optimism that the facility will attract a larger people traffic, which will increase patronage for their businesses. Business has been slow at the market for some time.
Meanwhile stakeholders have expressed dissatisfaction with the lack of consultation executed before the project commenced.
One critic was Environmentalist and Promoter of the Linden River Front Festival, Samuel Wright, who had said in his effort to secure the scope of works for the project, he was told the scope has been finalised and that the contractors were chosen by selective tendering. This, it was stated, was necessary to expedite the process and that there was no time for further consultation. He also expressed concern about traffic and environmental disruption and the fact that the stakeholders were not consulted on this.
“Management of builders’ waste is an essential part of the LM&TC waste management strategy and this project would have been an ideal opportunity to test it. Infrastructure projects offer great opportunity to get community buy in, raise awareness, and develop community ownership and cohesion,” he is quoted as saying, while making it clear that the development is welcomed but should have been done with a more consultative approach.