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Big Spring Park Renovation “Looks Amazing”

Published on December 28, 2016

Photo of Big Spring Park Renovations

Renovations to Big Spring Park are about 50 percent complete, creating new anticipation over the scheduled April re-opening. Construction crews removed most of the green screening along the fences, allowing visitors to have a sneak peek at the improvements.

“It already looks amazing,” said Melanie Ellers, a frequent jogger in the park. “Living downtown, I come here frequently, especially to Pane e Vino – one of my favorite spots. I can see the park is going to be beautiful.”

The $2.5 million park renovation is on a nine-month fast track to be finished before Panoply opens in the spring. The project includes new seawalls, two new fountains (one for each pond) and a modified shape to the lagoon to promote better water flow.

“When we started designing the project our first concern was the structural integrity of the seawalls, which were collapsing, but we also recognized there were problems with the water quality due to poor circulation of the water and erosion from the surrounding parkland,” said John Hamilton, city administrator. “The design for the new seawalls addresses the erosion issues as well as improved water flow throughout the lagoon.”

Construction is going remarkably well. The City’s project manager, Zach Turner, believes citizens will be pleased with all of the new and improved features including 10-foot wide sidewalks, plazas, lighting and electrical outlets, benches, Wi-Fi, and updates to the gazebo and Freedom monument areas.

“We’re putting a floating bridge at the west end of the lagoon by Monroe Street so people can enjoy a continuous walk around the water,” said Turner. “We also temporarily dropped the water level by about 18 inches during construction, but it will go back to its normal height when we’re through.”

Landscaping is already under way on the north side of the park with the first plantings of a hearty variety of cherry trees to ring the lagoon. Plans call for new grass, ornamental trees and shrubs, and evergreen screening along the parking garage.

“It’s been 50 years since any major work has been done in Big Spring Park,” said Turner. “You can see this is really coming together well. We’re proud to do this right so people can enjoy the renovations for decades to come.”

Crews have finished work on about 80 percent of the new seawalls
Crews have finished work on about 80 percent of the new seawalls.

Native ducks are already enjoying the new water features
Native ducks are already enjoying the new water features.

Image of new park steps to pond
The renovation includes new tiered steps at the Japanese bridge to bring patrons closer to the water.

Cherry Tree label

Photo of Big Spring Park Landscaping
Landscaping begins on the north side of the park with new cherry trees.

Photo of Big Spring Park Renovations
Birds-eye view of the $2.5 million renovation in Big Spring Park.