Promenade Park on point for summer opening
By Matthew LeBlanc | The Journal Gazette
Promenade Park construction remains on pace to be complete by next summer, builders and city officials said Wednesday.
Steve McDaniel, director of the Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department, said the $20 million park – the centerpiece of the city's planned riverfront development – was slowed because of rains that caused fluctuations in water levels in the St. Marys River. However, builders planned for delays, he said, and the timeline for completion is on schedule.
The city hired Hagerman Construction for the work, and project engineer Dylan Markley said construction on both sides of the river will be completed in 2019.
McDaniel led reporters Wednesday on a tour of the site north of downtown, between Harrison Street and the Wells Street Bridge. About two dozen workers there used tools and machinery to transform what is now a dusty, four-acre area into a park.
While a lot of work will need to be done before next summer, portions of planned attractions are beginning to take shape.
Features under construction include an amphitheater, a trail, a playground and a pavilion sponsored by the Fort Wayne Park Foundation.
Much of the pavilion – perhaps the most noticeable structure at the site – is complete, but crews were busy inside, where walls and ceilings are unfinished and work on restrooms accessible from inside and outside the building is underway.
Pilings that eventually will support a “tree canopy trail” 20 feet above the river are standing, and docks on the north and south banks of the river are nearing completion.
An area along the docks to help boaters launch their kayaks also is planned.
“The idea is to see a lot more people on the river,” McDaniel said.
East of the pavilion, a walkway along Harrison Street is nearly finished and will feature bricks and trees.
Officials broke ground in July 2017 on Promenade Park, the first phase of a three-phase plan to develop the riverfront east and west of the area. Funding for the project came from the city, private donations, the city's Legacy Fund, the Park Foundation and the state's Regional Cities Initiative.
The Fort Wayne City Council on Oct. 10 approved a $2.4 million contract with Philadelphia-based David Rubin Land Collective for design and planning work for the second and third phases of development.
Parks department spokesman Rob Hines said work to prepare those areas for development is underway.
Click here to view pictures of ongoing construction at Promenade Park.
Work continues at Promenade Park, progress made along riverfront from WANE