At long last, the new $9.3 million riverfront plaza at Confluence Park is finished.
The project stalled for more than a year after coal tar was discovered buried on the river’s west bank. Work restarted last December and wrapped up with the culmination of a ribbon cutting on Oct. 14.
The completion of Confluence Park marks the first project of Phase II of River Vision, the expanded plan to improve the South Platte River corridor and make it the premier outdoor recreation destination and environmental educational resource for the city and the state. Since 2012, multiple partner organizations have raised nearly $50 million toward the renovation of parks along the South Platte. Phase I of River Vision created more than 30 acres of new parkland and greenways, and Phase II will include four additional revitalization efforts north of Confluence Park.
“For our growing city, it’s never been more important to protect, preserve and grow our parks and recreational opportunities, and reclaiming the river has been vital in celebrating and cultivating new outdoor experiences for Denver residents,” Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said. “Phase I of the River Vision investment has already transformed the banks of the South Platte into a spectacular network of parks for residents to enjoy, and there are more great improvements to come.”
Phase I of River Vision broke ground in 2013 and wrapped up in the spring with the completion of Grant Frontier Park. It also included Johnson Habitat, Vanderbilt and Pasquinel’s Landing.
In addition to Shoemaker Plaza, Phase II will include:
- Globeville Landing Park
- Heron Pond/Northside Park Master Plan
- River North (RiNo) Park
- RiNo Promenade
The completely rebuilt Shoemaker Plaza is now ADA compliant and includes improved bicycle and pedestrian flow, increased river access and new gathering places meant to create a vibrant environment at Denver’s historic birthplace.