Completing the Circle: Grand Opening of Bellevue's Downtown Park

Last month, the City of Bellevue celebrated the grand opening of its new Downtown Park. The event included a ceremony and ribbon cutting for Inspiration Playground, an all-ages and abilities playground located on the southwest corner of the 20-acre, circular park.

DCI Engineers provided the structural and civil services for this portion of the project, which is considered the last step of a 35-year journey in transforming the downtown space into a thriving epicenter of the community.

Playground amenity highlights include a wheelchair glider swing, a water feature and a “Whimsical Tree” sculpture, created by Design Concepts. DCI’s structural team provided design support for the 24-foot-tall sculpture, which includes LED lighting features, as well as for the climbing boulders, wisteria gateway and restroom addition.

Civil work included permitting with the City of Bellevue. This included a demo plan, grading, erosion control, and clear and grade permits and developer agreements for water, sewer and stormwater utilities for the playground’s spongey play surface – a poured-in-place resilient surfacing with compacted aggregate base. Commonly found in playgrounds, this surface is now being utilized more for other landscapes, such as city tree beds, according to Matthew Frisby, DCI Civil Associate.

The playground improvements required a larger stormwater main, installation of Bio-Retention planters, a new and deeper side sewer for the restroom, and an underdrain system to help keep the play areas dry and usable year-round.

“Historically, a large area of the park’s grass was unusable in the winter months and was therefore fenced off because it would turn to mud,” Matthew adds.

The $5.5 million park renovation was made possible through a Rotary Club of Bellevue fundraising campaign, the City of Bellevue and numerous public donations.

The park, which includes Inspiration Playground, along with a canal, waterfall, reflecting pool and circular pedestrian path, is located at 10201 NE 4th Street in downtown Bellevue.

About the author

Erin Spaulding

Erin Spaulding, Communications Manager/ Erin comes from a journalism background with an emphasis in feature writing. She enjoys capturing the unique details of a story and is a firm believer that every person (and every project, for that matter) has a story to tell. Erin loves running, fly fishing and learning about unique spaces. Back in Michigan, she owns a little studio condo readapted from an asylum into a mixed-use residential building.

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