Frisco plan aims to turn plot of dirt into a landscaped park at the marina by summer
What is now a large plot of dirt at the Frisco Bay Marina could become a landscaped park by next summer.
On Tuesday, Dec. 13, Frisco Town Council unanimously approved plans to spend about $771,000 for two local contractors to add a lawn, planting beds, pathways and pads for future amenities there.
The Frisco Bay Marina “is a cornerstone of our community, and it has a big blank canvas that we need to do something with,” said Assistant Public Works Director Addison Canino.
In February, the council approved the general design and scope of work for the approximately 3-acre plot of land created next to Dillon Reservoir and east of the Island Grill and Lund House during the Big Dig in 2019, an excavation project that removed material from the bottom of the reservoir.
But Canino said the only bid the town received for that project came in at about $1.4 million, about twice the amount budgeted for the area. To remain within the budget, town staff adjusted the scope of the project, he said.
“We decided to really dig into this,” Canino said. “What do we absolutely need to make it look done and how can we plug and play into the future?”
The contract Town Council approved Tuesday night authorizes Columbine Hills Construction and 2V’s Landscaping and Irrigation to move forward with a pared down version of the original plan for the area. Canino said the contractors plan to get started as soon as mid-April, with the potential for the new lawn to be open for public use by July.
“When we activate this area, it is probably going to relieve a lot of beach use,” he said. “Now we’ll have the beach and the park, and it will just take away the beach getting so hammered.”
Along the western edge of the park, a planting bed seeded with a Frisco wildflower mix will be bisected by a narrow path leading to a larger walkway made of a finely-crushed stone mix. Curved benches and picnic tables had originally been planned for this walkway but have been removed from the plans approved Tuesday to save costs, Canino said.
Rather than buy new furnishing for the walkway, Frisco Town Council Member Andrew Aerenson suggested that the public works department allow the project’s architects to go through what items the town already owns that could be used there.
“Let the creative types go down and look in the warehouse and enhance it without budget adjustments,” Aerenson said.
East of the walkway, a large turf lawn will stretch toward a wood-chip bed, where trees can be planted when funds become available, and a pad for a future structure, potentially a stage, Canino said. Another wood-chip bed for future trees and a pad for a future structure, such as a pavilion, will border the north-western edge of the plot, he said.
Events such as Rock the Dock and the Timberline Cruiser Regatta would be great to have in this new area, Canino said, noting that Rock the Dock has been held on asphalt at the old boat ramp turnaround near the Lund House in the past.
“That’s been great. I’ve been there many a time,” Canino said. “But this is all moving forward, and we can all look back on those days with fond memories while standing on some grass.”
Town Council Member Jessica Burley was among those who complemented the plan for the new park.
“This is a great prudent and conservative way to move forward on this,” Burley said. “I appreciate all the back and forth and creative ideas.”
Canino said he is excited to move forward with the landscaping of the new park since he has spent the past several years working on the Marina Master Plan.
“That started with the Big Dig, so there is literally my blood, my sweat — and I’ll come out and say it — some tears, vested in that area,” he said. “And really getting this done, it will tie everything together. It will just activate such a massive amount of space that is unusable right now.”
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