Fort Wayne, IN
Mississippi River Greenway Park is designed to be an urban oasis that provides its occupants with the necessary space to engage with the outdoors. Whether it’s for exercising, reading a book, walking the dog, or feeling the sun on their skin, Mississippi Greenway is the place to service all of these needs and more.
The Mississippi River Greenway Plan builds on the North Riverfront Open Space and Redevelopment Plan developed by LJC in 2015 by focusing specifically on the 22-acre public realm immediately adjacent to the riverfront. In harmony with the overall plan, this new linear park is envisioned to build upon the City Arch River investment’s success by extending the open space north through the Eads Bridge and completing the important link to the North Riverfront Trail. Along this new greenway would be a series of active and passive park spaces that provide a wide variety of new user experiences to activate the park.
Mississippi River Greenway would equip people with the space to facilitate many of the activities recommended by the Citizen’s Advisory Committee that could not take place on the Arch Grounds. This new walkable and bike friendly environment would leverage its proximity to the adjacent Metro Link Station to ensure regional connectivity and be accessible by boat on the river itself.
This plan indicates an ultimate build-out of a comprehensive greenway over time. The strategy envisions multiple phases, each to stand on its own once complete. The initial phases would develop the sites currently controlled by Great Rivers Greenway. The design respect’s any existing functions required by the adjacent landowners. Ideally, over time, each of the parcels could be developed to support the overall park concept, seamlessly linking the greenway.
One of the major design concepts derived from the substantial reference to the varying flows of the river. While areas of this new greenway park would be above the current flood levels and are protected by floodwalls, a large portion of this area would periodically flood. Several engineering attributes are incorporated into the plan to reduce and mitigate the negative impact of the occasional flooding. The floodwater and sedimentation flows were considered in the design.
These flow lines became important in establishing the overall form of the greenway, as they helped carve a variety of terraces along the edge. These terraces would be sculpted to create various experiences, including several programs and event uses such as overlooks, seated amphitheaters, open platforms for specific recreational uses, walls, accessible ramps, seating, all working together to support the concept of “flows.”
The design exploration also rediscovered the significant possibilities found along Commercial Street. This seemingly simple service drive is envisioned to become one of the country’s most important and recognized waterfront addresses. Re-conceived as a new riverfront promenade, Commercial Street can become the new address for events, strolling, retail, restaurants, entertainment, mixed-use, and residential development.
An anchor at this location is the LJC designed and built, Katherine Ward Burg memorial Garden a new .5 acre trailhead that is a crucial link in the Great Rivers Greenway Regional River Ring. It creates a unique place for St. Louisans’ to enjoy their riverfront.