Whitewater recreation set to open this weekend in Great Falls

GREAT FALLS, S.C. (CN2 NEWS) – The date is finally here, as part of an 80 million dollar project, a portion of the Great Falls Whitewater attraction by Duke Energy will open to the public this Saturday, March 18th.

This is project that’s been years in the making, is set to bring new life to the town according to town leaders.

“Duke Energy which brought Great Falls to life one hundred years ago, they are now bringing Great Falls back to life”, says Mike Vaughn, Chester County councilman for District 2.

For a town that has seen better times, new life is on the horizon.

“The whitewater will bring economic development, we really can’t even fathom the scale of it yet”, says Vaughn.

A portion of Duke Energy’s Great Falls Enhancement Project,  is set to open to the public, giving white water enthusiasts a wild ride through class two and three rapids.

“Its right in the middle of Charlotte and Columbia so you’ve got a large audience to pull from, easy day trip”, says Tami Styer with Duke Energy.

In 2015 leaders with Duke Energy say it received a new license for the Catawba-Wateree Project which includes upgrades to the Great Falls Reservoir. Duke Energy has now put water back into two channels to not only provide recreational opportunities but to also improve aquatic habitat downstream for years to come.

“It will make this whole area a recreation destination. For all types of recreators. Not just whitewater paddling, but camping and hiking and flatwater paddling. Its more than just whitewater. At the end of the day, its just going to be a great destination for people to come and experience”, says Christy Churchill with Duke Energy.

Another important part of this project is safety.

Chester County Emergency Management says its crews have been training for this project. They are also teaming up with Lancaster first responders to keep everyone safe while on the water.

The Long Bypass Channel there at the Nitrolee Access Park will open this Saturday to the public.

The Short Bypass Channel is set to open at another date.

In addition to parking, restrooms and boat access,  the site Nitrolee Access Park features an interpretive center about the history of the area.

There are a lot of projects in the works including a state park, and pedestrian bridge to Dearborn Island will be constructed.

To learn more about the project, visit: https://news.duke-energy.com/releases/public-access-to-duke-energys-great-falls-enhancement-project-set-to-open

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