Updated: 04/10/2014 6:14 AM
Created: 04/09/2014 6:00 PM KSTP.com
By: Brandi Powell
A popular west metro park is getting a makeover. Recently, the Three Rivers Park District Board approved more than $4 million to revamp the underground water system, fix trails and revitalize a problem boat ramp. 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS was with crews to see the project begin.
KSTP caught up with Coon Rapids resident Jeff Wiles while he was taking photographs of the scenery with his camera. "I'm just kind of on the lookout," Wiles said. "Wildlife is kind of where you find it. You just kind of hope that your luck will play out," he said. Luck, with a good photo or two, taken at French Regional Park in Plymouth.
5 EYEWITNESS NEWS reporter Brandi Powell asked Josh Bowe, Civil Engineer at Three Rivers Park District, "What kind of complaints have you been hearing?" Bowe said, "Just that you can't really function on the trails [because] they're very rough. We use those as multi purpose trails for runners, walkers, bicycling and rollerblading, right now you can't rollerblade on the trails."
And you can't use the popular boat ramp without problems.
"The boat ramp is deteriorating. The concrete planks, there's large gaps between them. It's a very shallow launch," he said.
And there's a long wait to use it. "Time is valuable and I just don't care to spend it that way, in the waiting game," Bowe said.
Right now, they have to put the dock on the side of the boat ramp. There's only one way in and out of the water. Families have to wait up to two hours for their turn. But when construction is finished, the dock can go in. Instead of one, there will be two lanes of boat traffic.
"This is an important park for the West Metro," said President of TwinWest Chamber of Commerce, Brad Meier. "It's close to the core cities." And key to attracting business to the area.
"Projections are that the west metro is just going to continue to grow, people are moving here in large numbers and so the quality of life and the amenities that are provided here through parks like this are really important."
This project is funded by the Park District. The boat ramp and underground water system will be done by October.
Trail rehab won't start until next spring and is expected to be finished next fall.