Project to improve access, saddled by added costs and delays, comes to fruition

For the past two years, Confluence Park — at the convergence of Cherry Creek and South Platte River — has been a mess.

A project designed to make the Central Platte Valley park compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act started in 2015 but stalled with the discovery of coal tar buried in the river’s west bank. A year-long cleanup process more than doubled its budget to $9.4 million.

During that time, pedestrians and bicyclists have had curtailed access to the park and the trails along the waterways.

Many of those obstacles were gone this week, just ahead of a ceremonial reopening of the park planned for Saturday. Work crews on Thursday were putting the finishing touches on the centerpiece of the project, the overhauled Shoemaker Plaza, a renovated promenade with improved river access.

RJ Sangosti, The Denver Post

Construction crews make the final touches on the newly renovated Shoemaker Plaza at Confluence Park in advance of the public grand opening on Oct. 12, 2017 in Denver.

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