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Showing Some Love for the South Platte River: Our Top 6 South Platte River Projects

The South Platte River has been an iconic landmark of Denver long before ECI was founded in 1980. Throughout history, it has been used as a water source, gathering place and recreational venue. We have been fortunate to work on several projects along the South Platte River over the past decade, and in the spirit of the month of February, we’re showing some love for some of our favorite projects in the area.

 

South Platte River Trail, Completed in 2015

For this project, we partnered with Adams County to create a recreational trail connection along the east side of the South Platte River in Brighton, running from 108th Avenue to 120th Avenue. This remote location required site prep and demolition to clear trees and undergrowth prior to installing the concrete bike path, while maintaining erosion and sediment control. A 120-foot prefabricated bridge was installed over the river, along with a 64-foot bridge to cross the Bull Seep Canal.

 

Pasquinel’s Landing Park, Completed in 2016

The renovation of Pasquinel’s Landing Park was part of the City and County of Denver’s plan to improve the ecological health and accessibility to the South Platte River corridor, while providing flood control and bank stabilization. A secondary channel was created to allow access to slow moving water, and a low water crossing provided a path to a new rock jetty for fishing. Additionally, a new ADA accessible trail and other crusher fine trails with boulder seat walls wind around the turf picnic lawn and river overlook. Many of the existing, mature trees were protected during construction, while new landscaping and irrigation was installed, along with native grass areas.

 

Grant Frontier Park, Completed in 2016

The location of Grant Frontier Park was one of the first places gold was discovered in the South Platte River near Denver. The centerpiece of the park, a 200-year-old cottonwood tree, was protected and is now surrounded by seat boulders, a plaza and picnic area. River access was restored by constructing a secondary channel and concrete jetty, separating the main park from a new island. A new playground, shade structures, walking trails and retaining walls provide additional areas of play, and a new parking lot allows for more public access.

 

Confluence Park, Completed in 2017

One of our most iconic projects, Confluence Park has been dubbed “The Heart of Denver” and posed unique challenges for our team. The ADA access area of Shoemaker Plaza at Confluence Park required extensive renovations to improve safety and usability. The process started with securing and de-watering the area with sheet piling and demolition of the plaza. During the shore work, buried coal tar was discovered, requiring the client to pause construction for one year to address water treatment and filtering. Once the new plan was finalized, ECI prioritized the safe removal of the contaminated soils. The project continued with updating the ramps and the plaza, providing safe river access, and adding new landscaping and lighting.

 

Platte Farm Open Space, Completed in 2020

Platte Farm Open Space is just a stone’s throw away from the South Platte River and is one of our most recently completed projects in the area. In collaboration with the City and County of Denver and Mile High Flood District, we created a detention pond to help with stormwater and flooding in the adjacent neighborhood. The park also included an open space with trails, landscaping and irrigation, access roads to the neighborhood, and new on-street parking. We used multiple different shoring systems throughout the course of this project, and we built the project’s log features, which include log steppers and a 220 LF Log Border.

 

Arkins Promenade, In Progress

The Arkins Promenade combines recreation and the natural environment to create a linear park along the South Platte River. Once completed later this year, promenade visitors will be able to enjoy an elevated walkway with seating areas, outdoor classrooms, and viewing platforms 16 feet above the river bank. The project will also enhance natural vegetation. Stormwater will be treated using landscape-based water quality areas, which will connect vegetated swales with chase drains and shallow conveyances. Existing outfalls that served Arkins Court as a street will be reused for the stormwater from the park and adjacent roads.

 

Here’s to many more years of improving and enjoying the South Platte River!

7 Colorado Parks to Visit This Summer

We’re not going to sugarcoat it – the beginning of spring is shaping up to be a rough season for Colorado (and for the rest of the world). But since we’re a “glass half full” kind of company, we like to focus on the silver lining and provide hope whenever possible. The good news is that these dreary days won’t last forever, and soon we’ll be back to our normal lives and enjoying the many beautiful outdoor spaces Colorado has to offer.

 

While you’re stuck at home and dreaming of brighter days, we’re here to remind you to put these fantastic Colorado parks on your post-quarantine day trip list:

 

1 | Poudre River Whitewater Park, Fort Collins

This revolutionary venue is the only whitewater park in northern Colorado. Whether you’re a killer kayaker, terrific tuber, or just someone who enjoys relaxing next to the rushing rapids, the Poudre River Whitewater Park is the place for you. Officially opened to the public in October 2019, the park is located in north Fort Collins and boasts an enormous pedestrian bridge, children’s play area, new paved trails and plenty of boating features for an adventurous day.

 

2 | Woodbriar Park, Greeley

This spacious park has been a Greeley staple since its original construction in the 1970s. Over the last few years, the City of Greeley decided the entire park needed a revamp with a new neighborhood park and improved stormwater system that was better coordinated with city departments. The redesigned Woodbriar Park was unveiled in 2018 and included a natural style of playground and adjacent structures that were repurposed from existing trees.

 

3 | Confluence Park, Denver

Confluence Park and Shoemaker Plaza have been dubbed “The Heart of Denver,” and we couldn’t agree more! This iconic landmark was one of our largest – and most challenging – projects a few years back. During the shore work, buried coal tar was discovered, requiring construction to pause for a year to address water treatment and filtering. Today, the ADA-sensitive plaza serves as a gathering space for Denver residents, with the South Platte River running alongside it.

 

4 | Twin Silo Park, Fort Collins

Who can forget when those two giant silos popped up in southeast Fort Collins? Located just south of Fossil Ridge High School, this relatively new community park was a gamechanger for the growing population in the region. The park is outfitted with a twisting slide connecting two relocated steel silos, a farmhouse-inspired shelter, pickleball courts, multi-purpose fields and a unique vertical grow wall. This summer, come out to enjoy a BMX riding area and water play area in McClelland’s Creek.

 

5 | Wellington Community Park, Wellington

As soon as we’re able to gather in crowds of more than 10, Wellington Community Park is the perfect venue for a summer softball league. Located near the Buffalo Creek subdivision, this 30-acre park includes ball fields, tennis courts, a dog park, playground, splash pad and multipurpose fields. In addition to the new amenities, ECI improved the park’s stormwater system. So pack up a picnic basket and bring a frisbee – this park has a little bit of everything for our Wellington friends.

 

6 | Mehaffey Park, Loveland

This gem in west Loveland has everything you need for a jam-packed day of family fun! Mehaffey Park includes an adventure playground with one-of-a-kind concrete climbing and retaining walls that simulate natural stone properties and shade shelters, a custom skatepark and post tension tennis courts. Plus, the park features a lovely waterfall structure with a stream that runs through the entire playground.

 

7 | Margaret Carpenter Park, Thornton

Completed in 2013, Margaret Carpenter Park is considered Thornton’s flagship park – and for good reason. This 150-acre park is like none other, featuring a carousel, boat rental house and dock, bocce ball and shuffleboard courts, professional sand volleyball pit, horseshoe pits, 500-seat amphitheater, skate park, playground, and much more.

 

Here’s to a better summer and sunny days at the park!