Written by Steve Ostermann
Wednesday, 15 June 2016 22:04
Long-awaited project will give Veterans Memorial Park a pedestrian-friendly face-lift
Grafton’s Veterans Memorial Park is about to receive a waterfront face-lift.
Construction was scheduled to begin this week on a 1,000-foot-long walkway that will give pedestrians, canoeists, kayakers and other park users new and improved access to the Milwaukee River.
The $446,000 project — which includes building a 10-foot-wide concrete path from Highway 60 to the north end of the park — is expected to be completed by early September.
Other amenities will include a sitting wall, trail bump-outs, decorative lighting and an informational kiosk.
The work also includes shoreline upgrades, with riprap installed for erosion control.
“We’re excited. It’s a project that’s going to enhance the use of Veterans Memorial Park,” said Jessica Wolff, the village’s director of planning and development.
In preparation for on-site work, the village received permission from the Department of Natural Resources to lower the water level by opening the Bridge Street dam. The dam will remain open for the duration of the project.
The new path in the park, which is on 13th Avenue, will be an extension of the riverwalk south of Highway 60, a portion of which overlooks the dam.
TP Concrete of Fredonia was hired to install the walkway, with other work awarded to local contractors.
Grafton received a $224,500 matching grant from the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program for the project, with the village contributing an equal amount.
The village was also awarded $35,000 from the Fund for Lake Michigan grant program and a $25,000 donation from Meijer for the kiosk. The $35,000 grant will help pay for erosion control and two years of shoreline maintenance.
The village originally planned to have the path installed last year but delayed the project when two bids it received were significantly higher than the estimated cost.
Wolff said the village subsequently made several design changes to cut costs and rebid the project last winter.
Although the shoreline will be closed during the work, the park will remain open throughout the summer.