Bend Whitewater Park

BPRD Project Phases PFL Scheme

Bond-Funded Project

Location: Colorado Avenue Dam on the Deschutes River, between Mckay and Miller’s Landing Parks.

Total Budget: $9,681,985

Funding Sources:

  • Bond – $7,721,025
  • Partnership – $1,133,737 (Bend Paddle Trail Alliance)
  • Facility Reserve Fund – $ 827,223

Estimated Completion: Fall 2015* (* Park and trail construction on either side of the river will continue into summer 2016).

Overview: The Bend Whitewater Park project will renovate the Colorado Dam to create three channels downstream–a safe channel for paddle boarders and other floaters, a whitewater play area and a natural river area to enhance habitat. The project also includes replacing the existing bike/pedestrian bridge that connects McKay Park to Miller’s Landing Park. The project is primarily funded by the 2012 General Obligation Bond Measure and has a budget of $9,681,985. The Bend Paddle Trail Alliance is a sponsor on this project and has committed $1,133,737 in fundraising towards the project.

McKay Park, located directly adjacent to the Bend Whitewater Park project, will be upgraded to support activities associated with the project including accessible trails, a larger beach, restrooms, changing rooms, an observation deck and new pavilion.  Construction of McKay Park will be completed in late 2016.

Additionally, the District is designing a pedestrian undercrossing under Colorado Avenue to improve accessibility along the Deschutes River Trail, adjacent to the Bend Whitewater Park project. Construction of the undercrossing is anticipated to begin in late 2015.

Current Project Update: Construction of stage two (the whitewater channel) is nearing completion and work has begun on the safe passage channel. The pneumatic bladder system has been installed on the wave blocks within the whitewater channel. Work also continues on the new pedestrian bridge. Please continue to observe closures and detours while traveling in and around the project area. Closures and detours will be in place around the area until 2016.

Colorado Undercrossing and DRT Trail Extensions:  Final design was delivered April 14.  The project goes to the City Planning Commission for water overlay zone (WOZ) permit review on April 27. Project bidding is scheduled for April 21-May 19, with a presentation to the Board at the June 2 meeting for approval of the construction contract.  The project schedule targets an October through November 2015 closure window to allow sufficient time to order materials, complete design and coordinate with utilities and stakeholders. Coordination with City staff on the Colorado Lift Station Project continues, as both teams are working to construct the two projects within the same closure window.

For all Bend Whitewater Park project past updates, click here.

Background: River floating began in earnest in Bend when Farewell Bend Park opened access to the calm moving portion of the Deschutes River above the Colorado Street Dam in 2005. Since then, there have been several accidents and one death at the dam. Once the safe passage channel is complete, river users will be able to travel through the dam without having to portage.