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Our Town: Cedar Falls closer to breaking ground on River Recreation Project

Updated: Jun. 22, 2021 at 9:38 AM CDT
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CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (KCRG) - Our Town Cedar Falls is getting closer to breaking ground on its River Recreation Project. It’s a project that’s been years in the making. The idea is to enhance the trail, increase amenities in the area and increase overall accessibility to the Cedar River.

The $4.1 million project spans from the Main Street Bridge to First Street Bridge. City funds, fundraising and grants will pay for the project. Stephanie Houk-Sheetz, the city’s director of community development, said it all started with looking at improving the safety of the river’s dams. That expanded into trying to increase amenities along the river.

The project includes the addition of fishing jetties, a landing dock area, and a plaza on the river bank. Much of the concrete in the area will be removed.

“It’s going to be enhanced in more use of boulder-type materials,” said Houk-Sheetz. “We’ve got two large trees along the river bank that we’re planning to keep in place, and those will be features of the project as well.”

This is a rendering of the Cedar River Recreation Project in Cedar Falls.
This is a rendering of the Cedar River Recreation Project in Cedar Falls.(City of Cedar Falls)

She said the renovated riverfront will offer something for everyone.

“So if you just like to people watch, they’ll be entertainment that way, to watch what’s happening with boaters, to watch what’s happening in fishing,” she said. “If you like to boat, then you can get in the river and play with your kayak or canoe.”

Another part of the project will focus on making sure everyone has adequate access to the river.

“Right now we have a trail on top of the riverbank that gets a lot of use and is connected to our trail system,” she said. “We’re going to have a spur off of that with a lower trail closer to the river.”

This is a rendering of the Cedar River Recreation Project in Cedar Falls.
This is a rendering of the Cedar River Recreation Project in Cedar Falls.(City of Cedar Falls)

The city wants construction to start on the in-river sections in the late fall. Construction on the river bed banks and park areas would start next spring.

Click or tap here for more information about the project.

A rendering of the Cedar River Recreation project.
A rendering of the Cedar River Recreation project.(City of Cedar Falls)

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