Snoqualmie Home(s) Purchased, demolished for City’s Future Riverwalk Project
If you happen to notice some houses being demolished along Park Street (behind the Mount Si High School Stadium and Track), it is NOT to do with the impending rebuild of the high school. The demolition work is actually related to a longterm, City of Snoqualmie project called Riverwalk.
The big, longterm project aims to connect the Snoqualmie River – including the south shore and north shore areas of Meadowbrook, Boarst Lake, Snoqualmie Falls, Kimball Creek, Sandy Cove, and the historic downtown core – with miles of trails, bridges, boardwalks and viewpoints.
Having trouble picturing it? Think San Antonio River Walk. Two of the main goals of the Snoqualmie Riverwalk master plan are to “re-connect the city to the Snoqualmie River and its distinct riverside identity and increase public access and enjoyment of the Snoqualmie River.”
Over the past few years, Snoqualmie City officials worked to develop the Riverwalk master plan, and although the phased-in project will take years and plenty of grant money to accomplish, the city’s distinct vision has been established.
That vision is to:
“Create the Snoqualmie Riverwalk as a distinctive, unique-to-Snoqualmie, trail system, linking the Snoqualmie River to the key City focal points, while acting as an attraction and community amenity that provides an inspiring experience for visitors and residents alike.”
Some Changes Needed to Make Vision a Reality
Within that vision, homes along the Snoqualmie River will have to be purchased – which is why four properties along Park Street have been sitting boarded up and vacant for months. They were purchased by the city in 2013, but not through the imminent domain process.
A City of Snoqualmie Economic Development Commission member said the city let these Park Street homeowners know about the Riverwalk Project so that if they were thinking of selling, the city would buy the properties considered “high flood risk homes” – which is has happened with four out of the approximate 15 identified properties. Even though the Park Street area of the Riverwalk is the fifth phase of the longterm project, the city decided to purchase the available homes now.
These Park Street homes sit in an area the Riverwalk Master Plan calls a ‘High Density Restoration Area,’ with the goal being to remove the residences and re-naturalize and stabilize the river bank. After the restoration is complete, the plan calls for Riverwalk trails to run from Meadowbrook to Riverview Park and then trails and a boardwalk through the downtown area to Sandy Cove Park.
This stretch of Park Street will become an open space area with a pavilion/viewpoint structure and the Riverwalk trail running through it, with the possibility of Park Street becoming a future one-way street to accommodate a portion of the roadway repurposed as a paved section of the Riverwalk.
Riverwalk First Phase
The first phase of the Riverwalk involves the downtown corridor and is pictured below. It proposes a boardwalk along the river bank behind Falls Ave, as well as a pedestrian bridge to access the river’s north shore. There is no estimate as to when this first phase would begin construction.
For more information and details on the complete Riverwalk Project visit the City of Snoqualmie Community Development project page.