A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

CARA board stalls on waterfront project

Written September 17th, 2020 by Hasso Hering

Looking east on Water Avenue on Sept. 11. This west end of Water is to become a “plaza street.”

The scope of Albany’s planned waterfront redevelopment remains unsettled after the advisory board of the city’s urban renewal district, CARA, this week could not agree on the details and a decision was put off.

Consultant Chelsea McCann of the firm Walker Macy presented a package of scaled-back changes designed to fit a $14 million construction budget. The plan left out elements that had been considered before.

On Water Avenue, the consultants’ package would reduce the “plaza street” treatment from four blocks to three at the west end, improve six blocks as a “green street,” but do nothing on the remaining blocks from Jefferson eastward to Main. Total cost would be about $8 million.

At Monteith Riverpark, the plan called for a $5.9 million facelift. This included putting a new canopy on the stage, rehabbing the restrooms and two riverside piers, adding a play area and changing the entrance on Washington Street. The plan omitted the idea of demolishing the senior center in favor of a market pavilion. It also dropped a proposed children’s water-play area.

Along the Dave Clark Trail, the plan would have CARA spend around $360,000 to rebuild a short boardwalk, improve lighting there, provide connections to Water Avenue, and remove invasive plants along the riverbank.

Various members on the CARA board spoke up for items the plan omitted, including the kids’ splash pad at Monteith, replacing the senior center, rebuilding the whole of Water Avenue instead of  stopping at Jefferson, and completely replacing the Monteith stage, among other things.

The board members ended up asking for more information, including cost estimates for each item. This will come up again at the next CARA advisory board meeting on Oct. 21.

Maybe there will be a decision then. Or not. (hh)

The plan would improve Water Avenue only to this point, but some on the CARA board didn’t like that.

6 responses to “CARA board stalls on waterfront project”

  1. William Ayers says:

    “and completely replacing the Monteith stage, among other things” Why in the world does the Stage need to be replaced? Looks like it works fine to me. How often does it get used and how often will it be used? What’s wrong with it that it can’t be used as is for a few weeks in the summer? A little light entertainment never used to be so expensive! Taxpayer money burning a hole in somebodies pocket?

  2. John Klock says:

    The current Covid and economic climate in the city presents an opportunity to think more sustainably. Reduce structure and cement and think trees, walking, open spaces, views of the river. How about creating a city park that reinterprets the idea of a waterfront but at a fraction of the cost.

  3. Russ Tripp says:

    I would like to see a Ferris Wheel added near the Carousel. it would give a great view of the river and bridge and a great view from the bridge. .

  4. Don Strickland says:

    Nothing to do with todays topic, but thought your readers might be interested to hear that Oregon smoke is prevalent all across the country. Currently in Estes Park. Smoke was dense in places on the west side. Present but not so dense on the east side of the Rockies. Onto Nebr. Next week. We’ll see what it looks like out there. Reports from family indicate it’s there too but thinner.


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