What is the Eagle River Park?
The Eagle River Park project is a 4.3-acre park including two main components; the in-stream design and construction of a new world class whitewater park and the Upland Park parcel on the north side of the Eagle River. The Eagle River Park project wraps along the Eagle River near the Eagle County Fair and Rodeo Grounds and Chambers Park.
The River Park is part of the Eagle River Corridor Plan established in 2015. In April of 2016, town of Eagle voters approved a 0.5% sales tax to fund a variety of park and trail improvements including the River Park project.
There are two main components of the 4.3 acre project:
- In-stream design and construction of the whitewater park.
- Upland park design and construction on the north side of the river.
This project aims to build upon the Town of Eagle’s outstanding outdoor recreation opportunities by creating a world class whitewater park that will serve the members of our community and will provide a venue for whitewater competitions, events and more!
What is included in the Eagle River Park project budget?
The overall estimated budget for the Eagle River Park (including whitewater and Upland parks) is $5.9 million. This budget was estimated based on the anticipated revenue from a 0.5% sales tax, established by Eagle voters in 2016.
What is the Eagle River Park budget?
A sales tax bond will pay for the Whitewater Park and Upland Park Phase I construction costs, and the Town will repay the bond with the anticipated revenue from the 0.5% sales tax, approved by Eagle voters in 2016. Additional park enhancements and features will be funded by grants and private fundraising efforts.
Original projections for the construction of the Whitewater Park were estimated at $1.6 million in January 2017. The Town also budgeted approximately $150,000 as an escalation and bidding contingency in the construction market.
After a deep analysis of constructability, the complexity of field conditions, expense of the materials and labor needed to create the desired features; projected costs for the Whitewater Park have increased to $2.7 million, which includes added bid items to the project.
How is the project budget broken down?
Rough breakdown of construction phasing:
- Whitewater Park (construction Winter 2017 through Fall 2018)
- Phase I | Initial Construction of Upland Park (construction Summer 2018)
- Phase II & Beyond | Additional projects to improve connections to the park and other items identified during the design process (not included in the $5.9 million project budget). These potential improvements include:
- Upland Park items not funded in Phase I
- Improvements to Chambers Park boat ramp
- Connection trail from Upland Park to Chambers Park
- Connection from Broadway to Chambers Park (bridge connection on Town property)
What does construction of the Whitewater Park include?
The design for the Whitewater Park is complete. Construction includes the four in-stream features of the whitewater park and pedestrian/maintenance path along the riverbank. Hobbs Excavating & Trucking, based in Gypsum, was awarded the contract for both the in-stream construction and Upland Park.
What is included in the Upland Park design?
The Town is now moving forward to prioritize features for the final Upland Park design. A community preference survey will be available for Eagle residents to give their feedback on the features. Park design plans will be based on results of the community preference survey.
How are future Upland Park features funded?
In two ways: 1) Grants 2) Private Fundraising
The Town of Eagle engaged a grant writer to identify and apply for grants aimed to complement the Eagle River Park plan and future park enhancements and connections (see Phase III described above).
A volunteer citizen’s committee has been established to raise private funds that can be used to support the Eagle River Park, including funding for enhanced park features and future pedestrian trail connections.
What about additional grants to fund enhanced park features?
The Town of Eagle engaged a grant writer to identify and apply for grants aimed to complement the Eagle River Park plan, future Upland Park enhancements and pedestrian connections. The Town will be applying for local, regional, state and federal grants as well as grants from private foundations.
In March, the Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) Board awarded the Town of Eagle a $350,000 grant that will be used to build the Upland Park portion of Eagle River Whitewater Park.
GOCO funds will go towards a parking lot, bathrooms, picnic pavilions, tables, benches, paths, and access ramps, and add native vegetation to the river park. Excavation work will accommodate a new entrance along Fairgrounds Road to maximize parking and minimize highway noise.
The town will build enough covered picnic seating for 50 people and will build a 6,000-square-foot lawn in addition to a gear staging area that can fit long trailers or vendor tents during events. Ultimately, the park will connect to the Eagle Valley Trail as part of another GOCO-funded project that will build out the trail to Horn Ranch Open Space.
What is the volunteer citizen’s fundraising committee?
A volunteer citizen’s fundraising committee has been established to raise private funds that can be used to support the Eagle River Park, including funding for enhanced park features and future pedestrian trail connections.
How is the Town addressing parking needs?
The Town and Eagle County have reached a consensus on parking needs for the Eagle River Park and Eagle County Fairgrounds. Project representatives from the Town and the design team met with the Board of County Commissioners on Oct. 24. A trail will be built between the Eagle River and east of the rodeo arena for access to parking at the meadow between the Eagle River Center and Fair and Rodeo parking. The Exhibit Hall parking area and Upland Park parking lots will also be increased to accommodate large vehicles.