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More Riverfront Improvements Coming Friday

6/2/2011
Gail Williams, Department of Public Works & Utilities | GWilliams@wichita.gov | (316) 268-4356

Ribbon-cutting event will set up annual River Festival

Wichita’s latest riverfront development project will be celebrated 2 p.m. on Friday, when Mayor Carl Brewer leads a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the riverbank plaza near the Drury Plaza Broadview.

The 2 p.m. ceremony will celebrate newly constructed riverbank improvements between Douglas and Second Street. Scheduled speakers include Mayor Brewer and Council Members Lavonta Williams and Janet Miller, whose districts border the project. Council Members Pete Meitzner and Jeff Longwell also plan to attend.

The new path and amenities extend the riverbank improvements between Seneca and Second Street, which were completed in 2007 as part of the Keeper of the Plains renovations. Riverfront improvements are a central part of recommendations in Project Downtown, the City’s downtown master plan approved by the City Council in December 2010.

This $1.5 million project between Douglas and Second Street utilizes the space west of the Drury Plaza Broadview in a new way, creating a unified space that expands usability for the general public as well as hotel patrons. Accessible walkways allow easy access to and from Douglas, Waco and the hotel itself. Terraces provide multiple access points and opportunities for people to enjoy the river views. A small performance space (site of the ribbon-cutting) permits use of the area for special events such as weddings. Added lighting increases security and extends the hours for use of the space, as does elevating the lower walk, which will decrease times of flooding and maintenance costs.

The new space is already being enjoyed by downtown workers, residents and visitors, and will receive even more use during the River Festival, an annual nine-day festival which opens Friday evening with the Sundown Parade.

Parking for the ribbon-cutting will be available in the Drury Plaza Broadview parking garage on the east side of Waco; access the plaza through the walkway west of Waco.

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