(KMTR) -- Improvements are on the way for one of Springfield
's most popular riverside landings, Clearwater Park
Willamalane Park Board members and the Oregon State Marine Board members broke ground on a major construction project at the park on Tuesday morning, April 10th, 2012.
The project is designed to get more people using the park, while making things safer for the people using it.
During the summer months, contractors will build a new boat ramp, new parking for cars and boat trailers, also a new tie-down and ready area at Clearwater Park.
Willamalane and the Oregon State Marine Board are tackling the project because of the congestion caused between trucks hauling boats and the people relaxing at the river’s edge.
Once the new boat ramp is finished, the old one will be for "non-trailer" watercraft only.
“We have a lot of swimmers and waders and folks picnicking and that creates a conflict right at the current boat ramp because its one of the slower areas, there's a gravel bar there and they like to play in that area,” says Bob Keefer, superintendent of Willamalane Park & Recreation District.
“We want to continue to transform Clearwater Park into a place that's used by all of the public,” says Keefer.
The project will cost $408,000 in all. Half of that is coming from Willamalane, the other half will be paid for by the State Marine Board.
Delta Construction will begin work on the project in late June 2012. It’s aiming to finish the work in mid-September.
Another big Willamalane project through Clearwater Park is the planned Middle Fork bike and pedestrian path linking the park to Downtown Springfield.
The first phase of the project was completed in 2011. Contractors are currently working on the second half between Quarry Creek and the east side of Dorris Ranch.
ODOT just awarded Willamalane $960,000 for the third phase of the path, which will stretch from Island Park through Dorris Ranch. Construction on that leg of the project will hopefully start in summer 2013, according to Willamalane. The park district will match that leg of the project with $135,000 of its own money.
In all, the Middle Fork Path will stretch 10 feet wide for four miles from Island Park to Clearwater Park. Willamalane hopes to finish it by Winter 2013.
For more information on the project, click the following link: http://www.willamalane.org/pages/parks/middleforkpath.shtml.