Construction well underway on Riverfront Park

Construction well underway on Riverfront Park

SPOKANE, Wash. - Construction is well underway at Riverfront Park in downtown Spokane and exciting new projects are on the horizon.

When you walk through the park, you'll notice construction on the Howard Street Bridge, but there's a lot of work going on behind the scenes and the city will break ground on other projects soon.

On a gorgeous November afternoon, many people were out enjoying the park. But with the ongoing construction, strolling around isn't as easy as normal.

"We come about twice a week. We used to walk around and do a bigger circle. Right now, it's a little limited," one park-goer said.

"Right now we're working really hard to get the Howard Street Bridge south demolished and get that cleaned up," Leroy Eadie, Spokane Parks and Recreation Director, said.

This is the last season to enjoy the current ice skating pavilion and the carousel. The parks department says operational costs of the ice rink cost more than usual this year because the system is old, but that money comes from the city's budget and not the bond.

"We're on budget. We're on our schedule. The rec rink will open in the fall of 2017. That's really when there's a lot of excitement. That's going to open, then just a couple months later the carousel will open. Then in the summer of 2018, this entire south bank will be done and completed," Eadie said.

Eadie says 2017 will be a big year for park construction. During the summer, amusement rides, attractions and the IMAX will be closed. The city is working with events like Hoopfest and Bloomsday to keep operations running smoothly during construction.

"We're doing everything we can to accommodate events, but 2017 is our high impact year for this end of the park," Eadie said.

Many visitors say they're excited to see the park transformed.

"I'm looking forward to Spokane getting more beautiful because I love Spokane," one park-goer said.