It’s an exciting day for water recreationalists in the City of Boise. Construction of the second phase of the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation Boise Whitewater Park is complete and project partners joined Mayor David Bieter for a ribbon cutting to officially open the new park today.
“Boise’s whitewater park is a premier facility not just in the state of Idaho – it’s unlike any other wave park in the country,” said Boise Mayor Dave Bieter. “This is another example of how Boise is raising our livability by offering a one-of-a-kind experience for residents and visitors.”
Phase 2 includes three new structures downstream from the original adjustable wave, additional seating and viewing spots, improved river access and a new plaza area. During construction, a 520-foot section of the Boise River was diverted so crews could place the rock formations and pour concrete for the new main wave feature in Phase 2.
The three new in-river features create waves for all skill levels. Of the new waves, project managers say the first feature is the most technical and challenging and is designed for expert athletes– it’s adjustable, using a product called Rapid Blocs to create a variety of wave types.
The second wave is more of an intermediate level feature and the third in-river wave feature is designed for beginners. Kayakers and surfers will be able to learn and develop their skills in the expanded park and can create an experience that meets their unique abilities.
Engineers designed the park for optimal use during the summer months when Boise River flows are between 750 and 1300 cubic feet per second (cfs). The city’s wave tech will continue to test and manipulate the new adjustable wave feature over the coming months as river flows change.
“We are grateful for partners like the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation who continue to recognize and invest in recreational amenities for our community,” said Doug Holloway, Boise Parks and Recreation director. “The beauty of the park is not only in its design, but its proximity to downtown. We see people visit the wave on their lunch break then head back to work.”
This phase 2 project removed a diversion in the area while creating additional infrastructure for flood mitigation.
The original phase of the whitewater park, completed in 2012, has proven popular. On alternating days, you’ll find surfers and kayakers practicing their skills on an adjustable wave located in the Boise River just west of Quinn’s Pond. You can watch live video of the action via the City of Boise’s wave camera. The first phase cost more than $3 million to build –the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation, the City of Boise and donations from community supporters made the original wave a reality.
The second phase of the whitewater park cost about $11 million to construct. The City of Boise once again received financial support from the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation to make the upgrades.
In addition to the new recreational amenities, the City of Boise is committed to preserving wildlife and fish habitat in the area. A fish ladder was incorporated into the project to make sure fish can move up and down the river at the park without getting caught up in the wave features.
A wave schedule for Phase 2 has not been set. The city’s wave tech will be monitoring use and river flows during this inaugural season to determine the best plan going forward.