On Monday this week, patrolling the Albany riverfront on my bike as usual, I took a look at the work being done on Water Avenue at Thurston Street.
A crew has been installing reddish brick pavers there after building the intersection itself and adding concrete curbs.
It’s all part of the City of Albany’s $21 million Waterfront Project, the main part of which is rebuilding Monteith Riverpark at the confluence of the Willamette and Calapooia rivers.
The red-brick treatment is similar to what’s been done on Water Avenue at the intersections of Jackson and Hill streets. Brick also will be laid down on Water at Montgomery Street.
Putting down decorative brick pavers at selected points of what has been mostly an industrial service road may seem out of line in a town where many older local streets have been allowed to fall apart for lack of enough money to maintain them.
Brick pavers, though, apparently were in fashion when the city council in 2007 commissioned a consultant to come up with a redesign of Water Avenue. The goal was to give would-be developers of land along Water an idea of what the street could look like in years to come.
The Water Avenue redesign became the foundation for elements in the Waterfront Project the city launched as the culminating effort of the CARA urban renewal program.
City Manager Peter Troeddson said in his weekly report to the council Friday that construction in Monteith Riverpark should be complete next spring. Besides the new stage and expanded seating on the lawn, work has included restoration of the river bank and plantings along the Dave Clark Trail.
On Water Avenue, the work has included burying a new water line and building the Thurston and Montgomery intersections. More construction along Water, such as creating a “plaza street” at the western end, will take place next spring and summer.
Some time late next year, I look forward to riding along the riverfront when all this construction is complete. (hh)