100,000 sq. ft. Windsor riverfront redevelopment project underway

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Festival Plaza Concept Plan

Ontario Construction News staff writer

A 100,000-sq. ft. redevelopment project on Windsor’s riverfront that will be delayed each year by concerts and festivals, is underway.

Elmara Construction has mobilized to the site and has started removals,” said Josie Liburdi, a technologist at the City of Windsor.

“The scope of work for Phase One includes installation of a Redi-Rock retaining wall, installation of guardrail, removal/installation of the asphalt pathway along Riverside Drive, and the creation of two concrete lookout areas.”

The budget for the first phase is $1.35 million and work is expected to wrap up by the end of November.

According to Liburdi, the entire redevelopment will last at least three to four years, and work will stop each summer during the city’s festival season, so that events can continue as planned.

Prior to upgrades, the Festival Plaza had a large paved area left over from the site’s previous use as a parking lot. The approved site plan will function for more than just large events, providing spaces for year-round use. By dividing the site into three distinct areas and creating opportunities for shade and seating, designers softened the existing hardscape to blend with the rest of the riverfront park, while maintaining its main function as an event plaza.

The City of Windsor retained Landmark Engineers Inc. in January 2015 to update the design concept for the Riverfront Festival Plaza and later committed $5.6 million.

It’s part of an overall conceptual plan for the riverfront that will roll out over the next 25 years, creating a continuous riverfront open space network. And adding entrances to the plaza, partitioning space to allow for several events to happen at the same time and, eventually, a permanent canopy over the stage area to provide shade and protection from inclement weather.

Landmark Engineering Inc. completed four proposed designs for the canopy, but it has not been finalized.

Other features include accessible washrooms and a recreational trail added along Riverside Drive “to connect the new accessible ramp at the back of house to the Glengarry Intersection,” according to the presentation by Landmark.

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