Gondola Meadow re-opens while construction is deferred a few months

Recreational Rink Ice Ribbon and SkyRide Facility open fall 2017

Fianna Dickson 509.625.6297

Friday, September 23, 2016 at 6:18 p.m.

The Gondola Meadow in Riverfront Park, at the corner of Spokane Falls Blvd. and Post Street, is re-opening temporarily.

The site has been closed off since July for construction preparation including archaeology and geotechnical exploration in preparation for construction of the Recreational Ice Ribbon and SkyRide facility.

The Gondola Meadow will remain open until construction begins. The area was re-seeded soon after archaeology digging was complete, to comply with soil remediation requirements. Special events can be held in the Gondola Meadow during this time.

Construction at the site will begin a couple months later than anticipated. The original timeline would have had the recreation rink concrete available for summer programing of the concrete ribbon in 2017; the new opening timeline is fall 2017 in time for ice skating.

When the designers reviewed near-final detailed drawings, they estimated construction costs for the project may be higher than budgeted once the project was bid out to construction companies. To prevent this and stay within budget, project managers are conducting value engineering - studying ways and making decisions to reduce cost without compromising the project program.

This is a common step in design development. Once decisions are made about how to decrease the potential construction costs as a result of the value engineering exercise, the construction drawings will be revised. These are the drawings construction companies will use to bid the project.

The project will most likely go to bid in November, a favorable time for competitive bids. There are minor costs associated with the time it takes to value engineer and re-draw plans.However, the savings to the project are significant and critical to keep the project on budget.

The Ice Palace in the U.S. Pavilion is open for ice skating this winter. Ice Palace season passes go on sale October 1 for $39.95. Ice is anticipated to open Wednesday, October 26.

For redevelopment details, visit www.RiverfrontParkNow.com