Waco’s portion of the Brazos River has remained largely undeveloped for many years, but that could all change as big plans are now being drafted for the river.
City leaders and river stakeholders are working on a plan to turn the Brazos River into a 16-mile scenic corridor. The project will move into the design and funding stages over the next few years.
"Major cities all over the country, indeed all over the world, that have a beautiful environmental advantage like a scenic river have made the most of that advantage," Mike Parrish, Brazos Corridor Planning participant, said. “Waco certainly has the potential to do exactly the same thing."
Adding even more momentum to the project, Baylor University announced this week plans to build a new stadium on the riverbank.
"An on-campus stadium would do a lot for our brand, our football brand, the university's exposure overall and be a tremendous landmark here in central Texas," Baylor University’s Athletic Director Ian McCaw said. "It really could provide the catalyst to really spur very significant development along the river."
But the recent interest has not always been the case for the Brazos. For decades, it was used as a dump for sewage, trash and even debris from a devastating tornado in the 1950s.
"Part of the debris from Downtown was disposed of right on the riverbank," Susan Bratton, Brazos Corridor Planning participant, said. "That wasn't considered really valuable property."
Now, however, city planners see the potential in the river which runs through their city.
“The end result will be a great, great improvement in the quality of life," Parrish said.
Once Baylor University approves the new stadium project, the facility has a two-year construction timeline.
Click here to check out the what the city has slated for the river so far.