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The Aug. 4 meeting in the St. Helens City Council chambers will be open for citizens to attend.

COURTESY PHOTO: CITY OF ST. HELENS - The Columbia River will be far more accesible to citizens when the Riverwalk is completed. Step by step, the St. Helens Riverwalk project is getting closer to becoming reality.

On Aug. 4, a Riverwalk project meeting is scheduled to take place in person at 6 p.m. in the council chambers. The meeting was originally scheduled for the July 21 City Council work session.

At the August meeting, the City Council will be presented with the technical advisory committee's recommended concept, or preferred alternative, for the Riverwalk project. The committee, including members of the City Council, has been reviewing design alternatives for the ambitious Riverwalk project.

Jenny Dimsho, associate planner and community development project manager for the city, said the committee considered a number of designs and now seeks to get the council's "yea" or "nay" on the one it picked out as its preference.

Dimsho said the recommended preferred design incorporates public access along the water's edge. It includes railings, lighting and areas for seating.

The preferred design also includes a new multi-purpose structure near the existing playground that can be used for picnicking or sound equipment for events.

Launched in March of this year, the Riverwalk project comes in two phases to design public access along the Columbia River from Columbia View Park to Plymouth Street and Nob Hill Nature Park.

According to the city, Phase 1 includes a complete design and construction of about 300 feet of public Riverwalk and a new amphitheater stage, replacing the current gazebo.

Phase 2 is expected to extend the Riverwalk to Plymouth Street.

A timetable for the final completion of the project has not been announced, but Dimsho anticipates going out to bid in early 2022 for Phase 1. The construction timeline would begin in the spring and summer of 2022 and potentially go through spring and summer of 2023.

Speaking of the preferred Riverwalk project alternative that will be presented to the council, Dimsho said, "I'm really pleased with the preferred alternative, and I'm looking forward to hearing council's feedback on August 4."

"Dimsho continued, "I think it incorporates a lot of components that individual city councilors have expressed interest in throughout this process."

You can learn more about the Riverwalk project on the city's website.

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