BEND, Ore. - The Deschutes River winds through the heart of Bend, where Mirror Pond is formed, and it needs a tune up. The Bend Park and Recreation District has started preliminary plans for a bank restoration along Mirror Pond, from Drake Park to Pacific Park.
As outlined to the park board at its meeting Tuesday night, the park district is trying to create an environment that enhances the park.
To do this, they've separated Mirror Pond into five zones. Each area gets a different bank treatment. It'll maintain the current environment, while also repairing the bank to make it safer. Part of the enhancement will be a future boardwalk along the river.
"If you notice, when you walk along the path now, it used to be a paver path right against the sea wall," said Brian Hudspeth, the park district's development manager. "Now, it's a soft surface that's been moved, in some areas 10 to 15 feet away from that sea wall, and it's because the wall is failing."
The pond's "sea wall" is 70 to 100 years old, and much erosion happening underneath the water. Sinkholes are also creating a safety hazard, the district official said.
On top of the bank restoration, the district wants to add onto and improve the existing Deschutes River Trail to help keep the main path right beside the river.
The park district wants to get the trail off surface streets, especially near Franklin and Newport avenues, for the safety of both people and cyclists, Hudspeth said.
"A lot of people pop up onto Newport Avenue, and they don't necessarily use the crosswalk, so they just cross the road right there," Hudspeth said. "That's a dangerous situation, and that's not a great place to cross the road."
The district hopes to build a boardwalk form Drake Park that goes under the Newport Avenue Bridge, comes back up around the Pacific Power substation and finally drops into Pacific Park.
Hudspeth said they will bring back 30 percent of the development drawings to the board this fall, along with an estimated budget for the project.