by Terry Rogers
In early August, a local construction company began replacing deck boards on pedestrian bridges throughout the Riverwalk with engineered lumber. The last of the bridges was completed in early September. Over the next few months, the remainder of the decking will be replaced with composite deck boards that are more durable and require less maintenance than the boards that currently exist on the path.
“The Riverwalk is an asset to our community with hundreds of people using the bridges and walkways each day,” Brad Dennehy, Milford Parks & Rec Director said. “Some areas of the Riverwalk are more than 20 years old and the deck boards have become warped, twisted or damaged. The new decking material is far more durable and will create a walking area that is safer for pedestrians. It will also reduce the need for constant maintenance.”
Along with the deck boards, the capping will be replaced with the same composite material while handrails and posts will be pressure-washed to give the decking a cleaner look. Dennehy explained that the Riverwalk is structurally sound with beams and posts that are still in excellent condition.
“We wanted to get the pedestrian bridges done in the parks as soon as possible,” Dennehy explained. “I have been working closely with the chairpersons in charge of the various events planned downtown, including the Riverwalk Freedom Festival and the Ladybug Festival. We started with the bridge in Bicentennial Park first and then Memorial Park to be sure the construction would not interfere with the committees. The final bridge behind God’s Way is in process now and should be completed very soon.” Dennehy explained that the composite decking, which has been done in some less-traveled areas of the Riverwalk, will be completed over the fall and winter to avoid inconveniencing those who use the walkways during the warmer months.
To prepare for construction, Parks & Rec removed the semi-permanent structures along the Riverwalk including trashcans and the decorative public art boats Downtown Milford, Inc. installed a few years ago. Everything will return to the Riverwalk after construction is completed.
“Brad was able to secure funding from DNREC and our area legislators teamed up to close the gap to enable the full project scope to proceed,” City Manager Eric Norenberg said. “We are grateful to Senator Simpson and Representatives Kenton, Postles and Wilson for allocating funds to this important project.”
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