The Vision Iowa Board today awarded grants to river enhancement projects in Cedar Rapids and Dubuque. Cedar Rapids will receive $1.6 million to help build an amphitheater downtown along the west bank of the Cedar River. Gail Loskill, with the Cedar Rapids Parks and Recreation Department, says the structure will extend from a new levee project.
“It actually has a back wall that the amphitheater kind of sits into, that’s the flood protection,” Loskill said. The Riverfront Amphitheater will accommodate up to 5,000 people. The total cost of the project, which will be connected to a park, is just over $8.2 million.
Loskill says construction on the amphitheater will begin this summer and should be ready for performances by the summer of 2013. Dubuque was awarded a $2.25 million Vision Iowa grant for the Bee Branch Creek Restoration Project. Deron Muehring is a civil engineer for the City of Dubuque.
He says the project involves the lighting of a creek and construction of a recreation park. “It’ll basically serve as a gateway to the City of Dubuque and the State of Iowa,” Muehring said. The total project cost is around $12 million and is part of a larger $49 million effort to replace an underground storm sewer in the area. Muehring says the Vision Iowa funding will only be used for the park.
“It’ll help pay for some of the amenities like a mile-long bike/hike trail, an amphitheater and scenic overlooks,” Muehring said. The recreational trail will connect to a 26-mile long trail that starts in Dyersville. Construction on the project in Dubuque should be completed by spring 2013.