Downtown Riverfront Park

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Where the Willamette Meets the City

Downtown Riverfront Park sits along the bank of the Willamette River and in the heart of Eugene’s greater riverfront development project. The design concept calls for a 4-acre riverfront park that’s fundamentally urban in character balanced by riverbank and habitat enhancements. Broad river views, new bicycle and pedestrian paths, seating, and overlooks highlight the park’s design, which will be complemented by a new mixture of uses on the adjacent redevelopment site. Integrated art pieces will share stories about the land, industry, and diverse community both past and present, creating a park experience that’s truly all about Eugene.

Funding for the Downtown Riverfront Park development comes from the 2018 Parks and Recreation Bond and Levy, Urban Renewal Agency funds and capital funds.

More info.

Where the Willamette Meets the City

Downtown Riverfront Park sits along the bank of the Willamette River and in the heart of Eugene’s greater riverfront development project. The design concept calls for a 4-acre riverfront park that’s fundamentally urban in character balanced by riverbank and habitat enhancements. Broad river views, new bicycle and pedestrian paths, seating, and overlooks highlight the park’s design, which will be complemented by a new mixture of uses on the adjacent redevelopment site. Integrated art pieces will share stories about the land, industry, and diverse community both past and present, creating a park experience that’s truly all about Eugene.

Funding for the Downtown Riverfront Park development comes from the 2018 Parks and Recreation Bond and Levy, Urban Renewal Agency funds and capital funds.

More info.

  • Construction starts on Downtown Riverfront Park

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    17 June, 2020
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    After many years of visioning and planning, construction on the developed portion of Downtown Riverfront Park is underway. Construction on this legacy park project is scheduled to take place over the next year and is on track to be completed in the late spring of 2021.

    The 3-acre park will be urban in character balanced by riverbank and habitat enhancements. The work completed over the next year will include creating spaces for broad river views, new bicycle and pedestrian paths, seating and overlooks. The park’s design, which included input from thousands of community members, includes integrated art pieces that tell the stories of the ecology, industry and community, past and present, creating a park experience that’s truly all about Eugene.

    “This project will be a public outdoor space like no other in Eugene,” says Emily Proudfoot, project manager. “The ability to come down to the park and look out over this beautiful river that’s shaped our community will create a destination and connection to our past and future for community members and visitors alike.”

    Site preparation began last year with the demolition of buildings, mass grading, removal of soil to make the riverbank less steep, and re-vegetation of the rocky bank with more than 24,000 plants.

    The adjacent 1-acre park plaza, to the west of the riverfront park, is scheduled for additional design work and construction to be completed after the opening of the park and in conjunction with building development in the new neighborhood.

    Eugene-based Brown Contracting is the general contractor for the project. A regionally-recognized firm, Brown has been working in Eugene building parks, public infrastructure, and private projects for more than 23 years and has a record of high-quality construction throughout our community. Brown Contracting has implemented a strong set of COVID-related safety protocols for its employees, including designating an assigned distancing chief for each of their regional projects.

    Funding for the Downtown Riverfront Park development comes from the 2018 Parks and Recreation Bond and Levy, Urban Renewal Agency funds and capital funds.

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  • 24,000 native plants added to Downtown Riverfront Park

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    12 February, 2020
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    In January, the City of Eugene Parks and Open Space kicked off a planting effort that will add 24,000 native plants to the Downtown Riverfront Park.

    In the process of turning this neglected industrial land into an active, urban park, the City of Eugene has undertaken significant riverbank and habitat work to enhance one of our proudest assets. Ecological restoration work has included remediation of contaminated soil, grading work to lessen the slope of the river's steep bank, and removal of invasive species.

    This summer, the second phase will begin with construction of the new park features including paths, furniture, new landscapes and overlooks. The park is projected to open in spring 2021.
  • Portion of South Bank Path Reopened

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    19 November, 2019
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    A portion of the South Bank Path has reopened following EWEB's environmental cleanup work near the East 8th Ave/Hilyard connection. Thank you for your patience!

  • Second Closure for South Bank Bike Path Starts Monday September 16

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    10 September, 2019
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    Starting Monday, September 16, construction crews will close the second portion of the South Bank Path, between the Hilyard Street connection and the Frohnmayer Bridge. This new closure will effectively close the path between the DeFazio and Frohnmayer bridges. People should detour through Alton Baker Park.

    The Eugene Water and Electric Board is closing the Hilyard Street connection to remove significant contamination from the site of a former manufactured gas plant (MPG). Operation at the MPG facility in the early 20th century provided people in Eugene with a reliable source of heat and light, but also left behind an oily waste product. This project will reduce the risk of release of contamination to the Willamette River while laying the foundation for improvements for the Downtown Riverfront site.

    The work is expected to last through October. The South Bank Path will reopen upon completion.

    For more information about EWEB’s work, visit www.eweb.org/mgp.

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  • Bank Enhancement Work Begins

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    20 August, 2019
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    This week, Downtown Riverfront Park construction will be moving toward the river as crews start bank enhancement work. This means moving massive amounts of dirt to reduce the steep, cliff-like riverbanks so the land will slope gently down to the river. How much dirt? Approximately 10,000 cubic yards of material. That’s enough to cover 4.5 football fields with 1 foot of soil. (Go Ducks!)

    Regrading and replanting with native species will anchor the soil in the bank and decrease the chance of erosion. The bank will have a more natural slope, improving views and bringing you closer to the river.

    This bank enhancement work is in-keeping with Eugene's strong conservation ethics. Though we will be removing some non-native vegetation and trees, the development plans for the fall include replanting more than 24,000 stakes, bulbs and shrubs.

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  • South Bank Path Closure

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    18 June, 2019
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    Starting in July 2019, the South Bank Path will close for up to two years to allow for construction of the Downtown Riverfront site, including a new path through the redevelopment Riverfront Park. The closure will be between the Peter DeFazio and the Frohnmayer bridges. Access to the path from 8th Ave. and Hilyard will be closed during parts of 2019 and 2020.

    Closing the path will give crews space to safely work, as large construction equipment will be moving through the area. People are encouraged to use the Frohnmayer and DeFazio bridges to detour through Alton Baker Park. Construction is expected to be completed by Spring of 2021.

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  • Continued activity and progress at Downtown Riverfront site

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    18 June, 2019
    As the weather warms up, activity on the Downtown Riverfront site will also ramp up. The transformation of the vacant industrial site into a world-class new park and vibrant new neighborhood begins in earnest this spring as site preparations begin to fulfill the community’s vision of reconnecting the City’s downtown to the Willamette River.

    Over the coming days, weeks, and months, people will start to notice activity and large machinery at the Downtown Riverfront site. Much of the work will prepare the site for future development. For media access to the site please contact Caitlin Estes at 541- 682-8330.
    • Demolition – Several buildings will be removed from the site to make way for the development of the new park and infrastructure, including new streets and sidewalks. The Equipment Repair and Tire Shop buildings as well as the Midgley Building and the Warehouse Operations building are scheduled to be removed over the next few months. Due to the age of the Warehouse Operations building, the City worked with the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) to document the historic aspects of the building. This information will be used to provide state-level documentation and inform an on-site interpretive installation. Non-profit, BRING Recycling, spent several weeks on site and salvaged as much as possible from the buildings for reuse and recycling including shelves, doors, lockers, plumbing fixtures, and more. Staton Construction, the demolition contractor, will also be separating and recycling, reusing or salvaging at least 50% of the non-hazardous construction, demolition, and debris.
    • Steam Plant – The iconic waterfront Steam Plant is not being removed. A local development team conducted extensive community outreach and has developed a proposal for the redevelopment of the Steam Plant. More information can be found at www.steamplant.us. The proposal is scheduled to go to the City Council at their April 24th noon work session.
    • Riverfront Park – Riverbank enhancements will start in late spring/early summer and include removal of invasive species, laying back of slopes, and replanting the area with a higher diversity of native plants. Learn more about the Riverfront Park at www.eugene-or.gov/RiverfrontPark
    More information on the Downtown Riverfront redevelopment is available at www.eugene-or.gov/Riverfront.

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