The Mayor of Milford along with City Council celebrated the completion of the upgrades to the Mispillion Riverwalk in Downtown Milford on September 28. A ribbon cutting ceremony was held on Walnut Street at the Mispillion River, next to the Santa House and Farmers Market. There were several honorees in attendance who helped make this project possible, including former State Senator Gary Simpson, Senator David Wilson, former State Representative Harvey Kenton, Representative Charles Postles, Representative Bryan Shupe, and representatives of the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC).
The history of the Mispillion Riverwalk dates back to 1975 when town leaders established a Parks and a Recreation Commission, one of the first established by a municipality in Delaware. Milford “Parks and Rec” set out to promote community recreation with an emphasis on using the Mispillion River for water-based recreation. Now 40 years later, the mile long Mispillion Riverwalk Park threads its way through the heart of downtown, offering numerous recreational opportunities to both visitors and residents alike. It has revitalized Milford’s downtown, and is the largest municipal park in Delaware.
Construction on the recent rehabilitation project began in May 2018 and was completed in July 2019. The contractor on the project was Gerardi Construction, Inc. from Felton, Delaware, and the design architect was Landscape Architectural Services, L.L.C. The project consisted of the demolition and replacement of over 10,000 square feet of wood decking with polymer lumber, the installation of 2,000 linear feet of polymer caps, power-washing, and the removal and replacement of structural decking on the four pedestrian bridges.
The total cost for this project was approximately $373,000. Funding came from a variety of sources. The City was awarded a $93,787.07 grant from DNREC through the Outdoor Recreation Parks and Trails (ORPT) Grant Program. The City provided $179,499.24 for the project. The Senators and Representatives also helped make these upgrades possible by providing support for funding from the Community Transportation Fund (CTF) to be allocated towards this project. The total amount received through the CTF was $118,492.63. Additionally, the City’s Public Works Department supported the Riverwalk improvement efforts with a multi-year project to refurbish and upgrade lighting along the Riverwalk.