BLM begins construction of day-use recreation site on the Spokane River
COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho – After several years of planning, the Bureau of Land Management’s Coeur d’Alene Field Office will begin construction of a day-use recreation area at Ross Point on the Spokane River. To facilitate construction and to ensure public safety, the site and parking area will be temporarily closed beginning Dec. 13. Work will be conducted at the site through mid-June.
The 2.5-acre parcel bordering the river was formerly the site of an irrigation pumping system managed by the Bureau of Reclamation many years ago. Oversight of the parcel transferred to the BLM, but the area remained largely undeveloped and is used by swimmers and dog walkers. The design for the developed day-use site includes designated picnic areas, a picnic pavilion, established pathways, parking and a floating dock with designated swim area.
“Development of the Ross Point parcel has been in the works for a number of years, and we are excited to finally begin construction.” stated Ray Pease, Coeur d’Alene Field Office Manager. “General access to the Spokane River shoreline is extremely limited so we are very pleased to soon be able to offer a fee-free, family-friendly site for the public’s enjoyment.”
Phase I of the site development will include stabilization of the riverbank as well as installation of a picnic pavilion, a vault toilet, a floating dock and a pedestrian pathway through the park. National Native American Construction Inc. from Coeur d’Alene was awarded the $544,000 contract.
The second and final phase of construction will include establishing a formal parking lot and installing picnic tables and concrete pathways connecting the picnic area to the parking area. The timeline for Phase II is unknown at this time but is expected to follow shortly after completion of Phase I.
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.