Construction coming back to Big Spring Park

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT)-- Big Spring Park is a known haven for people and feathered friends alike in downtown Huntsville. It's even become a stop for many Pokemon Go players trying to "catch them all."

But it will soon be the site of more construction. The East side recently reopened following renovations, and Huntsville city leaders say now it's time to handle the West side.

Among the issues to address: a collapsing seawall, broken sidewalks, erosion, electrical infrastructure, poor water flow and safety. Below is the engineering design for the project.

City Administrator John Hamilton said the biggest concern is the seawall.

"The way it was constructed, the mortar has begun to fail," he explained. "There's places where it has collapsed in, and we've temporarily repaired parts to keep it safe but we really need to replace it so it doesn't get worse."

He said the plan is to put in a new system that's longer-lasting than what's there now. It will encapsulate the old wall, using pre-cast blocks to be brought in by crane to interlock and create a strong foundation.

"It goes in very efficiently, and it will be a much better wall when we're done," he said, commenting that they can do it without draining the pond.

Other parts of the project include a crosswalk to join what will eventually be the  CityCentre development, and a patio at the back of the art museum. Hamilton said that would be ideal for Concerts in the Park, as well as a great way to keep from having to re-sod the grass after every winter when they set up the ice rink.

He added that electrical infrastructure will also be updated, to better serve events as groups look to do more in the park.

The only problem with all of this, is that parts of the park will need to temporarily close to make it happen.

"A large portion of the park will be shut down from August all the way until the next March or April," he explained, adding that parts will also be re-opened as they're completed. Hamilton added that there will still be some discretion to make sure they're able to have events like Panoply, and ice skating, while the park is being renovated.

Here's the tentative timeline for the project:

"It's going to make it hard on the construction firm, it's going to make it hard on our construction crews and hard on engineering. But it's important to us," he said.

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