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'Connect with Council' - Episode 2:
Riverwalk Boardwalk Extension Project

Riverwalk Boardwalk Extension Project

Click here to take the River Front Park Naming Survey

Project Background

The City of Port St. Lucie has long recognized the value of the North Fork of the St. Lucie River to the city’s (or area) residents. In the 1990s, the City began considering plans to construct a boardwalk along the river and develop waterfront land to enhance the public’s access to this valuable resource.

Beginning in the 2000s, the City added approximately 2,000 linear feet of boardwalk along the river north of Port St. Lucie Boulevard to provide public access to the river from Veteran’s Park at Rivergate and Tom Hooper Park. 

In 2002, the City partnered with St. Lucie County and the Trust for Public Land to purchase 43 acres of riverfront land along Westmoreland Boulevard.  Twenty acres of this land was developed as the Port St. Lucie Botanical Gardens in 2010. 

At the 2014 Summer Retreat, the City Council directed staff to implement plans to construct a boardwalk along the river south of Port St. Lucie Boulevard to connect to the boardwalk north of the boulevard and develop the vacant land adjacent to the Port St. Lucie Botanical Gardens as a waterfront park.  The Council established the following guiding principles for the development of the site:

  • Don’t over develop the site
  • Area’s history should be incorporated into the design (e.g. Native American, early settlers, fishing camp, nature retreat, etc.)
  • Future development should complement the river and the surrounding uses

With assistance from the American Institute of Architects, Treasure Coast Chapter, the City held a charrette at the Port St. Lucie Botanical Gardens inMarch 2015 to solicit public input on the development of the park and boardwalk.  Over 100 people attended the charrette.  Based on the input received from the attendees, the architects provided the City with a conceptual master plan that was approved by the City Council in November 2015 as guide for the development of the park.    

Since September 2016, the City staff and Community Redevelopment Agency have been working with the City’s consultant to prepare the site design, engineering, and permitting plans for the southern extension of the Riverwalk boardwalk. This project also includes the development of the 10-acre Westmoreland tract directly south of the Port St. Lucie Botanical Gardens and the adjacent 13-acre conservation tract.

 

Project Milestones

July 2016

Local Initiative Grant State of Florida for $250,000 for project design awarded

July 2016

Special Category Grant from State Division of Historic Resources to relocate historic Peacock Structures awarded

September 2016

Contract for Project Design, Engineering and Permitting executed

January 2017

Project Site Plan submittal

May 2017

Project Site Plan Approval

May 2017

Phase 1 Construction Plan Approval

June/July 2017

Regulatory Agencies Environmental Permitting Applications Submittal Dates

August to December 2017

Naming Campaign for Westmoreland Middle Tract

September 2017

Anticipated date for issuance of environmental permit for construction of park improvements to Westmoreland Middle Tract

October to December 2018

Bid Proposals for Construction of Park Improvements to Westmoreland Middle Tract

January to September 2018

Issuance of Contract and Construction of Westmoreland Middle Tract Park Improvements
Improvements to include:

  • paved parking
  • sidewalks
  • public restrooms
  • picnic pavilions
  • Children’s play area
  • Relocation of Historic Structures

June 2018

Anticipated date for issuance of environmental permit for construction of Riverwalk boardwalk

June to September 2018

Bid Proposals for Construction of Southern Extension of Riverwalk Boardwalk

October 2018 to July 2019 pending permit approval

Issuance of Contract and Construction of Boardwalk: 
Improvements to include:

  • Approx. 2,200 linear feet of new boardwalk along the river from the Westmoreland Middle Tract and southern conservation tract north to Port St. Lucie Boulevard and Bridge Plaza
  • A new connection to the boardwalk from Port St. Lucie Boulevard and Bridge Plaza
  • A boardwalk stage and floating docks at the Westmoreland Middle Tract 
  • Walking trails and wetland crossing at the Westmoreland Conservation Tract 

 

Future Phase

A future phase of the project will provide a connection under the Port St. Lucie Boulevard Bridge that will link the existing boardwalk north of the boulevard to the proposed boardwalk south of the boulevard.  This section of the boardwalk is pending approval of a design for the bridge crossing and additional regulatory permitting.  This future phase will also include the proposed improvements to the Promenade and Veteran’s Park at Rivergate boat ramp to provide additional day use boat dockage. 

 

Project Budget

 

Phase 1

Summary

Includes the construction of and improvements to the Park and the relocation of historical structures.  

Budget

Preliminary cost estimate approximately $2.4 million

Timeline

January to June 2018

Details

Construction will provide improved public access to the North Fork of the St. Lucie River by providing paved parking, sidewalks, public restrooms, picnic pavilions, and children’s play area at the Westmoreland middle tract. 

This phase is tentatively scheduled to be complete in June 2018, when the public should be able to stroll the grounds, picnic along the river, visit the neighboring PSL Botanical Gardens, and join the City for programmed Rivernights events.

Proposed Restaurant

Summary

In addition, the approved plans for the development include approximately .70 acres of leasable restaurant space for a private entity to construct and operate a water-front restaurant and accommodate waterfront dining. 

Budget

To be determined. The City is not building the restaurant.

Timeline

January 2018 to December 2019

Details

The City will invite qualified parties to submit a proposal to lease, construct, and operate a restaurant at this location. A Request for Proposal (RFP) will be issued, and once approved, construction can be begin.

Pending completion of improvements, restaurant anticipated to be opened to the public in late 2019.

Phase 2

Summary

Includes the extension of the Boardwalk from Westmoreland Property to Bridge Plaza.

Budget

Preliminary cost estimate approximately $3.1 million  

Timeline

Pending permitting, estimated to be October 2018 to July 2019

Details

The construction in this phase will provide approximately 2,200 linear feet of boardwalk along the river. In addition, the City will also be constructing a boardwalk stage, terraced seating at the Westmoreland middle tract, and a floating dock system to provide access for boat docking. 

Once completed in July 2019, this phase will also provide 2,200 feet of boardwalk, walking trails, a wetland crossing, and an overlook area at the adjacent Westmoreland Conservation Tract. 

Phase 3

Summary

Includes connection of the Boardwalk under the River to the North and South Boardwalks.

Budget

Currently unfunding; no budget established. Design costs TBD; pending new design.

Timeline

October 2019 to September 2020

Details

The construction in this phase will provide approximately 500 linear feet of additional boardwalk under the PSL Bridge to connect the two sections, North and South. 

Once completed in late 2020, approximately one mile of ADA compliant boardwalk will be open to the public. This phase will also provide for enhanced boat dockage at Veterans Park at Rivergate.

 

Project Funding

  • The City has identified several funding sources for the project. 
  • The major funding source is the City of Port St. Lucie Parks Impact Fee Fund. 
  • The Parks Impact Fee is collected at the time of construction of new residential development. 
  • The fee is collected to enable the City to provide the parks and recreation facilities to serve new residents. 
  • Additional funds include grants (awarded and proposed), revenue from special assessment funds, interest income, and $1.5 million from the $3.2 million settlement the City received from the State of Florida regarding claims against the Digital Domain project.

 

The following tables identify the funding source and proposed construction costs as identified in the Five-Year Capital Improvement Plan (CIP):

Project Funds: Riverwalk Extension Project CIP Fund # 301

Funding Source

Amount

Cash Carryforward Fund # 301

$ 390,071

Digital Domain Settlement

$ 1,500,000

Parks Impact Fee Fund

$ 2,050,000

Conservation Trust Fund (Conservation Tract Improvements)

$ 500,000

Revenue from Special Assessment Funds

$ 1,406,456

Interest Income

$ 48,000

Special Category Grant (relocate historic structures)

$ 350,000

Local Initiative Grant (project design)

$ 250,000

Potential Funding: FIND Grant

$ 400,000

Potential Funding: Local Recreational Trails Program Grant

$ 400,000

Total

$ 7,294,527

 

Construction Costs: Riverwalk Extension Project Estimate Phases I & II

Task

Estimate of Costs

Project Design

$ 334,000

Riverwalk Boardwalk Extension (Southern Extension to Bridge Plaza)

$ 2,600,000

Development of Westmoreland Park

$ 2,400,000

Improvements Westmoreland Conservation Tract

$ 500,000

Relocation of Historic Structures

$ 525,000                             

Total

$ 6,359,000

 

 

The City has the funding for two phases of construction for the project which includes the development of the Westmoreland “middle tract” and the extension of the boardwalk from Westmoreland properties north to Bridge Plaza – immediately South of the Port St. Lucie Bridge.

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Riverwalk Overall Project

 

The City of Port St. Lucie is moving forward with plans to extend the Riverwalk boardwalk, now located along 21 acres of riverfront land north of Port St. Lucie Boulevard, to connect to 43 acres of City-owned riverfront land south of Port St. Lucie Boulevard.

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Veteran’s @ Rivergate and Promenade

 

The existing boat docking area at the Veteran’s Park at Rivergate boat ramp will be extended to provide additional boat docking areas at the north and south sides of the canal.

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Proposed connection to Bridge Plaza

 

In exchange for the donation of a riverfront tract at Bridge Plaza, the City will construct a 6 foot pathway to the river within the property.

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Westmoreland Riverfront Park (official name to be determined)

 

The project will include the development of the 9.75 acre Westmoreland middle tract that is located immediately south of the Port St. Lucie Botanical Gardens.  Paved parking, a riverfront stage, public seating area, and children’s play area will be provided.  It will also include leasable restaurant space adjacent to the river and provide a future home for the relocation of two historic structures located in western Port St. Lucie.

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Historic Structures

 

It includes a two-story structure built in 1917 and a hunting lodge built in 1952.

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Proposed Improvements Westmoreland Conservation Tract

 

Improvements will be made to provide public access to a 13-acre conservation tract that lies directly south of the Westmoreland middle tract.  It will include boardwalks, walking trails, and connections to the proposed Riverwalk boardwalk.

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For more information on this project, contact:
Bridget Kean, CRA Director
bkean@cityofpsl.com
(772) 873-6486


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