While the calendar says it’s still winter until next Tuesday, the warm weather is allowing crews to resume work at River’s Edge Park in Council Bluffs. The park was deep underwater during last summer’s Missouri River flooding. Larry Foster, director of Council Bluffs’ Parks and Recreation Department, says damage from the floodwater was moderate.

“There’s a little bit of silt that’s been deposited close to the river but there’s no big erosion issues,” Foster says. “There’s no big problem with banks that have eroded away. Foster says the park almost looks the same as prior to the flood.

“Almost exactly the way it was when the flood waters came up,” Foster says. “We had delivered 45-thousand cubic yards of dirt before the flood and all that dirt remains right where we placed it.” Foster says the flood forced much of the construction to a halt but they’re now making up for lost time.

“Leveling out the side a bit more, grading for the roads and the parking,” he says. “Early April, the first of very large trees will begin to appear.” Since the flood, the city scaled back the size of the park — slightly — which Foster says will save money.

The move “decreased the cost by about $3-million,” he says. “That money has been recaptured by the city to go back into recovering from the flood.” Even with the changes, the park is still a $7-million project and it’s thought to be the largest park project underway in the Midwest.

By Karla James