Martinez Waterfront Park Project Update
Oct 05, 2014 12:09PM
● By Jennifer Neys
Three public workshops were conducted, beginning last November, to seek community feedback and help with the planning and design process for the improvement of Waterfront Park. The workshops developed a project scope that includes renovated ball and soccer fields, turf, ball field lighting, group and individual picnic areas, play field, paths, landscaping, irrigation, play equipment area and expanded parking lots.
Construction drawings were approved by city council last July in the hope of having one or two new ball fields playable in early summer 2015. However, the preliminary engineers’ cost estimate of the preferred park layout, between 9-10 million dollars, proved cost prohibitive. Although a much smaller park, the recent redevelopment of Hidden Valley Park was 4 million dollars. At the September 3 city council meeting, City Engineer Tim Tucker said, “The cost came to light that it was really more than what we could afford for that site and still have an adequate reserve of funds to accomplish some of the goals we have for other parks. We are now trying to prioritize the improvements that we need at Waterfront Park.” Priorities include meeting ADA standards, safety and park lighting, field lighting and layout, and a championship sized ball field that could also be used for the high school. Staff will continue to work on the redesign and set Waterfront Park goals that can be accomplished at an affordable price with available funding, including Measure H, Measure WW, and developer funding.
“As much as I think most of us, if not all of us, wanted Waterfront Park to go into hyper drive to bring back the semi-professional baseball team and build that signature field, as we get further into fall, it’s not going to happen in 2015. We have to do it right and be methodical about it and look at the available funds because we don’t have 10 million dollars to finish all of our projects plus do the full wish list out at the Waterfront. What I would like to see at some point is all the projects that have been planned, what has been completed, and what remains to be completed and the monies involved. I think it would be helpful for me, the other member of the council, and also the public to know where we are,” said Mayor Rob Schroder.
Waterfront Park is the city’s largest park and one of three parks scheduled for construction over the next year. The project excludes work on the bocce courts.