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Time For Summer Plans

River recreation park set to open in April

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Just because it's February doesn't mean we can't dream about warm-weather activities. In fact, river rats got some great news recently when it was announced that the mild winter weather has allowed for construction on the new Boise River Recreation Park to truck right along.

Even better news? Depending on the spring runoff, the first phase of the park will open to the public in April.

Work replacing a diversion dam and installing two wave-shaper mechanisms, bank stabilization and a seating area is expected to be complete by the end of March, said Tom Governale, superintendent of parks for the City of Boise.

The five-month construction period that started in October also included relocating a section of the Greenbelt, as well as building a viewing plaza, irrigation infrastructure and a head gate upgrade for the Thurman Mill diversion and control building.

The park site--west of downtown Boise between Main Street and Veteran's Memorial Park--is part of a larger planned River Park Complex. The rest of the complex, the Esther Simplot Park and Bernardine Quinn Park, is expected to take another two years. Pending final approval and permitting, construction of the Esther Simplot Park could begin in the next year. That work includes parking, roadways, restrooms/change rooms and additional path access for the River Park.

Supporters of the park are working to raise the rest of the funds for the second phase of the project, as well as ironing out the details with water-rights holders. Phase two would be constructed roughly 300 yards downstream from phase one, near the Farmers Union-Boise Valley diversion.

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Even the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in Jackson, Wyo., is looking toward summer activities. While the resort is home to an impressive mountain bike trail system, resort officials are thinking about construction.

The resort announced it will be installing a new high-speed quad chair over the summer to replace the Casper triple chair. The new quad will move roughly 800 more people an hour than the old lift and cut the bottom-to-top time down to 3.5 minutes from 10 minutes.

The new chair will allow better access to intermediate-level terrain--something in short supply on the mountain known for its expert terrain. The move is an attempt to broaden the resort's appeal to more skiers who might not be eager to huck themselves off a cliff band.


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