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Drake Park's future waterfront comes into view

Designers propose variety of settings

Drake Park to receive renovation

BEND, Ore. - Bend's iconic Drake Park and Mirror Pond waterfront will be getting a makeover, and the designs are coming into view.

Officials say it's generally a maintenance project -- the walls along the banks are over 100 years old. The Bend Park and Recreation District is also adding new trails through the area, including an expansion of the Deschutes River Trail.

The development manager said that's what he's most excited about.

"The Deschutes River Trail extension is going to be very cool," Brian Hudspeth said Friday. "It's going to incorporate some boardwalk, the underpass underneath the Newport Avenue bridge -- we did the undercrossing on Colorado a couple years ago -- it was a huge success story for the Deschutes River Trail. This will be the same."

An open house public meeting was held Nov. 28, where the public was invited to view design drawings, ask questions and talk with the design team and staff. The park district said the meeting was well-attended, with many supporting the proposed design. 

The project's cost is estimated at just over $7 million, including a 30 percent contingency. Funding will come fro a variety of sources, including the park district's general fund, system development charges and possible grants, Hudspeth and Executive Director Don Horton explain in the agenda item for Tuesday night's Park and Rec Board meeting.

The project is proposed to be broken into five zones of river frontage, with slightly different settings, from narrow and low riparian sections to larger, protected ripiarian areas. The boardwalk zones would be under the Newport Avenue Bridge and through PacifiCorp's parking lot north of Newport Avenue. An alternate proposed in Pacific Park would remove an existing building and replace it with a formal trailhead for the Deschutes River Trail.

The board is being asked to review the "30 percent design development" sketches and renderings, and to direct staff to bring back project funding strategies before proceeding with further design work.


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