With the Grant Street Pier months into construction, the city of Vancouver has turned focus to the park that will be the pier’s entryway.
The waterfront park, a 7.3-acre patch of land that will stretch from Grant Street to the cable-stayed pier over the Columbia River, will be built by Battle Ground-based Tapani Underground Inc. The company received the $9.9 million contract from Vancouver City Council Monday evening.
Development of the park will start “as soon as possible,” said Julie Hannon the city Parks and Recreation director.
“It’s a huge accomplishment to get the bid done. The bigger accomplishment is to get all the work done,” she said. “We’re expecting to start as soon as we can get the paperwork taken care of.”
Construction is expected to last through summer 2018.
The park’s features aren’t merely birdbaths and benches. Two architecture firms designed the park with plans for play areas, a beach, viewpoints, overlooks and a connection to the Waterfront Renaissance Trail. A privately-funded water feature and a fishing pier will be built separately.
The Grant Street Pier, developed by internationally known artist Larry Kirkland, is expected to be finished by the end of 2017, Hannon said. The pier will jut 90 feet over the Columbia River.
The two city-led projects combined will cost about $30 million, all told. Private investment to develop the waterfront — with restaurants, office buildings, hotels and shops — is expected to cost around $1.5 billion.
Tapani Underground Inc. beat out four other construction outfits for the project, one of which was deemed non-responsive. Manager Darren Cahoon said he expects they will work closely with Rotschy Inc., the construction outfit building the pier.
“It’ll be a fun project, a unique project,” Cahoon said. “It’ll have an artistic look to it and some pretty neat features with it.”
Tapani employs around 400 people, though only about 15 to 30 will be developing the park at a given time. Founded in 1983, the company’s recent notable projects include rebuilding state Highway 14 near Camas and Washougal in 2012 for the Washington Department of Transportation.
Among the biggest challenges will be fortifying the shoreline against erosion from the Columbia River and the weight of the new pier.
Crews have until mid-February to conduct in-water work, or wait until another window opens from October to December.