Ann Arbor's Gallup Park canoe livery to get $563K makeover this year
City of Ann Arbor
The improvements include barrier-free paths leading to new barrier-free docks and fishing facilities, and expansion and modification of the patio area to create barrier-free outdoor seating.
Other elements of the project include new sliding glass doors from the livery's meeting room to allow for events and camps to take advantage of scenic riverfront views and fresh air, and a redesign of the park entryway so there is separation between the service drive and the pedestrian pathway. Park officials believe that will increase safety for park users.
Ryan J. Stanton | AnnArbor.com
The city has budgeted a 10 percent construction contingency totaling $51,218 to cover potential contract change orders, pushing the project budget up to $563,398.
The first phase of work is expected to start soon and continue until Memorial Day in late May, with work resuming after Labor Day in early September. If any work takes place between May 24 and Sept. 2, it must not disturb the livery operations, according to project specifications from the city.
The project is expected to be done by mid-November.
Amy Kuras, a landscape architect for the parks department, said Gallup Park, located off Fuller Road near Huron Parkway along the Huron River, is one of the most popular destinations in Washtenaw County, and the livery there is the largest in the state of Michigan.
The facility serves residents and visitors as a destination for boating, fishing and environmental education, including camps and programs for youths and adults.
Kuras said the facility is rented constantly throughout the warmer months and inoperable windows make the facility hot and stuffy. And much of the facility is not barrier free.
"The docks are not accessible, and the entrances to the facility and restrooms do not meet the standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act," she wrote in a memo to council. "These issues would be resolved as a result of the construction project."
When the livery was designed, the amount and type of use the park receives today was not envisioned, Kuras said.
The rise in interest in kayaking, the success of the coffee shop, heavy use of the play area, and the popularity of the paths that intersect at the livery has made the operation challenging, she said.
The potential for conflicts between users has increased as the number of vans used to transport canoeists and kayakers up river has tripled, she said.
The path that serves as the main access to the livery and is part of the Border-to-Border Trail along the Huron River is regularly filled with walkers, bicyclists, runners and children.
Additionally, the park playground is located next to the livery, where the vans back up to turn around, creating a potential safety hazard, Kuras said.
The city's 2011-2015 Parks and Recreation Open Space Plan identifies a need for many of the improvements that will be accomplished by the project.
Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for AnnArbor.com. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to AnnArbor.com's email newsletters.