Dam demo to disrupt downtown parking

If you park on Front Avenue or the parking deck at Front and 12th Street, you need to rethink your exit strategy come Wednesday.

That's because the Eagle & Phenix dam in the Chattahoochee River will be blasted sometime between 2 and 4 p.m. Wednesday. Roads on both sides of the river will be closed temporarily between those times, said Columbus Police Capt. J.D. Hawk.

The thing is, authorities don't know exactly when the roads will be closed because they don't know the exact time the dam will get blasted. That could make it tough to get in or leave during the 30-45 minutes between 2 and 4 p.m. when the dam gets destroyed.

Broadway in Columbus and Broad Street in Phenix City will remain open. However, the 13th Street Bridge could be shut at anytime, as will several intersections on both sides of the river.

Spots that will be shut temporarily in Columbus include Broadway and 12th Street, Front Avenue and 11th Street and Bay Avenue, Hawk said.

Phenix City road closures include Broad and 13th Street, Third Avenue and 13th Street and Third Avenue and 14th Street, the captain said.

The Dillingham Street Bridge will remain open, but no pedestrians or stopped cars will be allowed on it.

Uptown Columbus Inc. is arranging a safe viewing area in Woodruff Park, at 10th Street and Bay Avenue behind the Columbus State University Theatre Complex. Uptown Columbus President Richard Bishop suggests spectators park in the RiverCenter parking garage and walk. Signs will direct them to the viewing area, he said.