It’s been 15 years in the planning stage, with the last two encompassing full-blown construction to include blasting away dams, shifting rocks, moving earth and installing a concrete wave shaper.
This morning at 10, the wait is over.
What has been billed as the longest stretch of urban whitewater in the world — 2.5 miles in length — will have its official grand opening with a few remarks by public officials, followed by a flow of yellow rubber rafts through the rapids.
Several hundred genuine whitewater enthusiasts, along with those new to the recreational activity, are expected to take a ride down the Chattahoochee River. Their ultimate target will be the waves known as “Heaven’s Gate” and “Cut Bait.”
But it’s also a fair bet that the long anticipated debut of the attraction, which cost $24.4 million in private and public money to transform into reality, will generate a wave of curious sightseers and plain-old gawkers to the downtown area.
“We think it’s going to be real busy,” Richard Bishop, president of Uptown Columbus Inc., said Friday as he scrambled to put the finishing touches on what should be one of the more crowded Saturday mornings in recent memory.