RiverParks Trails Close As 'The Gathering Place' Construction Begins

Sunday, March 8th 2015, 8:35 pm
By: News On 6

Just as the weather is warming up, some of the best walking trails in town are shutting down.

The trails between the pedestrian bridge and 35th will be closed to all pedestrian traffic so they can move in some of the big construction equipment needed to continue progress building the gathering place..

Emily Brinton and her two dogs love to walk the Riverside trails.

"We walk like 10 miles when we walk it, from about 17th all the way down and back," Brinton said.

But with trail closures starting Monday, their routine will have to change.

"So that really puts a cramp in our path," she said.

The bike and pedestrian trail between 27th and 35th is shutting down as construction of The Gathering Place park project is ramping up.

Last week, crews dismantled the 80-year-old pedestrian bridge in the same area, shutting down Riverside and parts of the trails temporarily.

But these new closings will shut things down indefinitely--until The Gathering Place project is finished in 2017.

“It just looks like they were putting up a fence, but we were hoping maybe they would leave it open for Bikers and pedestrians to pass through but I guess they're not, and that's really disappointing and sad."

More closures will continue throughout the spring and summer months as things progress on the more than $300 million park.

Developers realize the process won't always be fun.

"We recognize there will be phases of the construction process that require community wide support and patience,” Gathering Place executive director Jeff Stava said.

And he said the new park will "enhance our community for this generation and future generations to come."

It's something Brinton said she's excited about but wishes the timing was different.

"Why couldn't they do this in the winter when no one was using it?" she said.

And coming up in July, Riverside Drive will shut down in this area as well.