News release from the City of Fort Wayne:
Mayor Henry announces team chosen to lead engineering and design work for riverfront promenade
Top local and national experts to lead effort
(November 25, 2015) – Mayor Tom Henry today announced a team of professionals has been selected to engineer and design a riverfront promenade as part of the community’s riverfront development efforts.
Riverworks Design Group, comprised of Design Collaborative, Forum Studio, Hoch Associates, Engineering Resources, and American Structurepoint, was chosen by the Riverfront Implementation Committee comprised of local government, business, and neighborhood leaders.
Design Collaborative, Hoch Associates, and Engineering Resources are based in Fort Wayne. American Structurepoint has offices in Fort Wayne and Indianapolis. The Forum Studio has offices in Chicago and St. Louis.
A final contract with Riverworks will be finalized in the next month. The contract will then be taken to City Council for approval. Earlier this year, City Council approved $6 million in Legacy funding for portions of riverfront development work for the next two years. The contract with Riverworks will be part of the previously-approved $6 million. The timeline and compensation for Riverworks’ services will be worked out in the final contract.
As part of the contract, Riverworks will create schematic drawings, final designs, and construction documents for the promenade. Riverworks will also coordinate all permitting with various federal, state, and local agencies.
Riverworks was selected through a competitive request for proposals process. Several respected firms and experts in riverfront development from across the country submitted proposals.
“I’m encouraged by the progress we’re making with our collective efforts to develop the riverfront,” said Mayor Henry. “This next step in the process is important as we build on the excitement and momentum being generated by innovative projects in the City of Fort Wayne. It’s great to have the best local and national talent working on this unique opportunity along our riverfront.”
In February, the City’s riverfront consultant, SWA Group, completed the City’s first-ever riverfront study and recommended building a waterfront promenade as the first phase of enhancements to Fort Wayne’s downtown riverfront. Work by the Riverfront Implementation Committee has focused on the first phase of the promenade on the south and north sides of the St. Marys River between Harrison Street and the historic Wells Street Bridge.
Ongoing activities as part of the riverfront initiative:
- Environmental studies
- Riparian plan for maintenance/riverbank cleanup/implementation
- Soil boring work to assess any challenges that may exist
- Programming that includes a variety of activities along the riverfront
- Headwaters Junction feasibility study
- Ecology Center feasibility study
- Property appraisals
- Property acquisition
The Community Foundation of Greater Fort Wayne is a partner with the City to develop the riverfront. The Community Foundation has committed to providing $4 million toward the riverfront implementation efforts. In addition, the Allen County-Fort Wayne Capital Improvement Board (CIB) has set aside $3 million to be used for property acquisition for riverfront development.
Leaders continue to emphasize that development along the rivers will take time. Potential projects will be done in phases over decades. Public-private partnerships will need to be formed for initiatives to get started and be successful.
Residents wanting to stay connected to the Riverfront Fort Wayne initiative may visit www.RiverfrontFW.org.