Greenbelt Near Boise River Park Rerouted for Much of 2015

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The Greenbelt will be closed from Veteran's Memorial Park to the 36th Street pedestrian bridge for most of 2015. - BOISE PARKS AND RECREATION
  • Boise Parks and Recreation
  • The Greenbelt will be closed from Veteran's Memorial Park to the 36th Street pedestrian bridge for most of 2015.

Right now, Esther Simplot Park isn't much more than some mounds of gravel, shabby overgrowth and a couple of puddle-filled parking lots. By this time next year, the city hopes it will be a vibrant extension of the Boise River Park—where the popular kayak and surf wave is located by Quinn's Pond—with a meandering stream, paved pathways, bridges, stretches of grass and picnic shelters.

The first phase of construction, according to Boise Parks and Recreation spokeswoman Amy Stahl, is slated to begin Jan. 12. In order for that to happen though, a section of the Greenbelt from Veteran's Memorial Park to the 36th Street pedestrian bridge overlooking the whitewater park, will close until late 2015. Along with that, the dirt parking lots allowing access to Quinn's Pond and the Boise River Park will also close. 

"It's not the world's most convenient [option] and we recognize that," Stahl said. "But this will be a significant development for the future of the river park. It will provide a large space so we can reroute the Greenbelt and create vantage points of the river, and improve access for the public. It's an inconvenience for this year, but the benefits in the long term are tremendous."

The construction will include covering the Farmers Union Ditch Company's culvert and headgate, as well as the ditch itself. While breaking ground for the Esther Simplot Park, the construction will also begin developments on Phase II of the Boise River Park. 

As far as detours go, pedestrians will be instructed to cross the river and continue on the Garden City Greenbelt. A temporary parking lot for the river park and Quinn's Pond has opened at the former Bob Rice Ford car lot on Main Street.

This portion of the construction costs the city $850,000, with Boise-based contractor McMillen LLC at the helm.