A rundown of Columbia’s riverfront projects

Here are five ongoing projects that will change Columbia’s riverfront landscape for decades to come.


Rendering of the orangutan habitat | Photo provided by Riverbanks Zoo

On Wednesday, The State went in depth examining a series of transformative projects along Cola’s three rivers.

Here’s a quick rundown of what’s on the horizon:

Riverbanks Zoo’s Bridge to the Wild:

  • The $80 million project aims to expand the zoo experience, including a primate garden on the botanical garden side of the river along with an aerial gondola across the Saluda, and a riverside restaurant on stilts.

Pickleball Complex:

  • Located just north of the zoo, this new sports facility is set to add recreation to the riverfront.

Malfunction Junction Overhaul:

  • The $2 billion ongoing project will untangle the notorious interstate junction near the zoo, improving access to the area.

Saluda Riverwalk Connection:

  • Anticipate a new bridge linking Columbia Riverfront Park that offers direct connectivity from downtown Columbia to the zoo.

Greenway Projects:

  • Thanks to a 200-acre lease from Dominion Energy, new biking trails and greenways are set to extend from the zoo upstream to Lake Murray, enhancing outdoor recreation and connectivity.

These projects aim to not only boost local outdoor recreation and tourism but spark Soda Citizens’ appreciation of our river ecosystems.

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