New Waterfront Park Surfacing Downtown
By Steven Gardner, email@example.com
October 24, 2006
Some say the five copper mounds that dominate the landscape at Bremerton's $4.5 million Harborside Park have the appearance of a submarine surfacing from below the concrete.
Construction workers have commented on the park's unique details as they continue to lay copper and concrete and install electronics for the park, located between Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and the Washington State Ferries terminal.
"I'm going to bring my family one day," said Shem Tartips, a Lynnwood resident and Appian Construction employee laying pavement in an open area on the waterfront side of the park.
The portion of the park between the shipyard and the ferry terminal and south of First Avenue could be open by the first part of 2007, but the progress is visible now from the platform in front of the terminal.
The Naval Museum, which will be housed in the former shipyard Building 50 fronting First Avenue, could be open around April, said Gary Sexton, Bremerton's redevelopment projects administrator.
The second park portion that will run along Pacific Avenue is waiting for completion of a tunnel construction project from the ferry terminal to Burwell Avenue.
Once the waterfront portion of the park opens, visitors will be able to walk and sit near the five copper-dominated fountains, utilize a children's play area with a rubberized playing surface and enjoy an open area near the water.
Trees and boulders were imported from throughout the Northwest to provide natural elements.
The park also offers a close-up view of a docked ferry. The shipyard will be visible but partially hidden by newly planted trees.
"This is one of the best projects I've worked on," said Chris Comeau, general foreman with Synergy Construction. "It's going to be a really nice park."
For Comeau, laying concrete for the fountains was a particular challenge because of their oval shape. Rick Miller of Miller Sheetmetal had the same experience molding the copper over the concrete for the fountains. Both said the curved nature of the fountains forced them to deal primarily in radii instead of squares, which they said posed a challenge.
Inside a small block building between the fountains and the ferry terminal lie the brains of the water show. A closet-sized cabinet holds the electronics that will control the 24 lights in each fountain and the water itself, said Larry Hanke, general foreman for Valley Electric. The cabinet will include a computer port where an employee can plug in a laptop to control the fountains.
In case an extra set of eyeballs is necessary, there will be another port under a grand staircase leading from the ferry terminal to the park.
Comeau said he did hear criticism of the project by a passer-by once when he was up at the ferry terminal looking down at the project. One man said the park cost too much money; money that should be going to the poor, the man said. Comeau disagrees. "I think something like this, it goes to all sectors of society," Comeau said.
Bremerton Mayor Cary Bozeman hopes so. "If you're going to have a vibrant, urban downtown, you need to have a great public place. You need to have a park," Bozeman said. "This park will really establish the Harborside District as one of the great public places in the Pacific Northwest."