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2023 Construction Recap

The community-driven transformation of Ralph Wilson Park into a world-class waterfront destination is well underway!  With new baseball and softball fields, a new pedestrian bridge, a resilient shoreline, an interactive play garden, tennis courts, picnic shelters, kayak launch, concession stands and more, Ralph Wilson Park will be a gathering place for the local community and an attraction for all to enjoy. 

The majority of the park was fenced off and closed this year so that construction could begin. The parts of the park that remain open are the splash pad and pool, the football field, and the skatepark. There is also a temporary dog park established across the street on 4th street.

This first phase of construction began this year, including work on the shoreline. The park previously had a vertical concrete sea wall along the shoreline which was not resilient and got damaged during storms. This sea wall is being removed and replaced with an armored slope, which will benefit local wildlife populations, dissipate wave energy, and increase shoreline resiliency. Work on this will continue throughout the new year. Click here to learn more.

Drone footage showing the change in shoreline from October 2023 through December 2023.

Additionally, a storm water sewer system, similar to a large french drain, is being installed at the park. Work on this began in 2023. This system will mitigate flooding and help prevent pollution in Lake Erie from contaminated runoff. Prior to the current renovations at RWP, the park was mostly a flat lawn. There was no storm water drainage system throughout the park, because it was not needed. Due to the topography changes and the expansion of impermeable surfaces throughout the park, installing the drainage system is necessary to comply with governmental regulations. In preparation for the work that will begin next year, test pits have been dug and electrical lines put in place. Digging test pits is a way to determine the contents of the soil that will be worked on in the future. 

2024 is just around the corner and there is a lot of construction progress to look forward to! Expect to see the pedestrian bridge installed, topography changes, and more. Please sign up for our construction update to receive regular updates on the ongoing construction. You can find the link here. Additionally, you can find images on the ongoing construction at our Flickr page here.