New riverfront development designs released as project moves forward
Fort Wayne -
The downtown Fort Wayne riverfront development plan – an updated one – is set to be considered by the city’s Park Board.
The board on Thursday will vote on Phase One of the riverfront development designs, which includes a new tree canopy trail, a children’s play area and one fewer lane on the Harrison Street Bridge to make way for walkers in addition to the promenade, park pavilion, urban bioswale, urban streetscape and more. Earlier this week, the Riverfront Advisory Committee unanimously recommended the new plan.
On the north bank of the riverfront development, planners envision a tree canopy trail. The raised boardwalk walkway will pass through existing trees along the riverbank. Below, a children’s play area will be open to children of all abilities, and kayakers, canoers, or paddleboarders will have floating dock access to the St. Marys River.
The Harrison Street Bridge will be reduced from three to two lanes to provide pedestrians with one lane. Benches will be also be built, according to the plan.
On the south bank, an entry feature will be commissioned by a “nationally recognized sculptor.” The floor plan of the pavilion has been enhanced to include concession space and both internal and external restrooms. In the Superior Street Gardens, wall planters, foliage and shade trees are now planned, along with a dining garden.
Mayor Tom Henry said he’s encouraged by the positive momentum.
“I’m encouraged by the outstanding design work for the first phase of riverfront development,” said Henry. “Our rivers can be a catalyst to making Fort Wayne and northeast Indiana a point of destination for individuals, families, and businesses. The positive momentum and excitement we’re experiencing in our community will be enhanced by making investments along the riverfront.”
The public space-focused Phase One of the development cannot exceed $20 million. For the construction phase to begin, the Park Board is in the process of acquiring three properties along Superior and Harrison streets.