Another reason why the River Greenway project amphitheater is a gigantic waste of tax dollars

First, I want to clarify something. I support upgrades along the greenway like making the bike trail more appealing along that route. But I have often thought building an amphitheater and a pedestrian bridge right in front of a private office building is questionable. Now it seems we have more hidden costs;

SIOUX FALLS, SD – The $5 million River Greenway project along the banks of the Big Sioux River in downtown Sioux Falls is digging up some hidden costs.

The River Greenway project began three months ago. It will add larger sidewalks, an amphitheater and more landscaping to make the banks of the Big Sioux more of a park than just a bike path.

And to build the walls along the water crews have to drill down to the bedrock, but that rock is not where they thought it would be.

“The bedrock elevation throughout the wall section of our project was a little bit deeper than anticipated,” River Greenway project Manager Brad Ludens said.

Kinda reminds you of another project that we did not need that went over cost, doesn’t it?

Cough . . . cough . . . Phillips to the Falls . . . cough . . . cough. How’s the growth and development going in that area? Heard they are trying to get an old folks home built there. That’ll bring in the tourists to Downtown!

If we knew for sure that the Events Center would be built next to the Cherapa place, I would be all for the pedestrian bridge, but I question this project when there is so much uncertainty. Also, as I understand it, when the $5 million was approved for the project, Mike Cooper had no idea how the money was going to be spent, I think a lot of these amenities are clearly pulled from someone’s ass.

We can beautify this part of the greenway, and we don’t need to spend $6.4 million to do it.


#1 Scooter on 03.02.11 at 8:37 am

Please correct me if I am wrong.

Is there not a amphitheater located at Fawick Park? And Fawick Park has better parking that the location between 8th and 6th street?

Maybe the city can now spend money to “remove” Fawick Park…

Or is it actually a devious plan to finally get rid of that awful Statue of David and the nudity, oh my the nudity!!!

#2 Sy on 03.02.11 at 8:52 am

Problem is we know the Events Center is NOT going there under any circumstances while Huether is in office. Locating it there would actually make these types of investments work together, kinda like the multimillion $$ parking ramp that they are warming up to put in or the $40+ million we will spend to pull the tracks out and relocate the switchyard. These are big picture type concepts and the Mayor’s big picture is moving on to DC or Pierre.

As for the project itself, there’s a master plan and it was to be done in phases over the next 5 or so years. At Monday nights land use meeting, Darin Smith even spoke about how things are going so well we could move that timeline up and finish early. They also have a $1.3 million contingency they can use for this particular hiccup, so overall it’s really not a huge deal.

But like I said above, without an EC most of these downtown projects really start to resemble the “bridge to nowhere”.

#3 Sy on 03.02.11 at 8:54 am

Oh, and I asked Cooper & Smith directly last week if they had heard any public opposition to the River Greenway project and they said not a peep.

#4 Brom on 03.02.11 at 9:03 am

I highly doubt the amphitheater will even be used if it was built. What kind of kitschy family-friendly performances, that we already show in the various venues around town, will be staged there? The lovely smell of the “Big Sewer River” will certainly tickle the nostrils during the performances.

#5 Pathloss on 03.02.11 at 9:24 am

“a little deeper”, they’d say how much if it was but a little deeper.

Get ready for “relocate the bike trail around the greenway onto streets to prevent congestion”.

The reason for the walls is so vagrants fall in. If they don’t drown, they’ll die from the toxins. It’s the city way to solve the homeless problem.

#6 l3wis on 03.02.11 at 12:12 pm

The kicker is that they plan to build another stage at Fawick, 2 blocks away.

#7 Sy on 03.02.11 at 3:21 pm

So what, L3wis? The one in Fawick I can see more of like the McKennan bandshell where they do lots of family-type stuff. This one is across the river in front of a place where you will hopefully have more bar/restaurant development and therefore more live music aimed at adults.

#8 John2 on 03.02.11 at 6:30 pm

The banksters and quasi-socialist developers can’t help themselves – it’s in their DNA to build in the floodplain and then later whine for a public bailout.

#9 Dave R on 03.02.11 at 7:26 pm

Canada Geese heavily populate that area along the river. Those things are excrement machines. I can’t imagine the ampitheater or grassy areas would be usable because of it.

#10 l3wis on 03.02.11 at 9:11 pm

DR – you are right. Shit bird central. I often take my dog down there to chase the shit birds around in that area. and they hiss at him then jump in the river before he can catch them. It always makes me laff, because he has a big grin on his face after chasing 30 geese in the river (and maybe a little lipstick showing).

#11 Snooki Palin on 03.03.11 at 2:50 pm

It sounds like this is all a big plan to have a nice setting for the event center. The event center will be conveniently located yards from this greenway site, like it or not. Its all a plan

#12 l3wis on 03.03.11 at 8:09 pm

Never happen, bullheaded Huether will build the thing at the Arena site. But that won’t happen, because voters will never approve it.

#13 Sy on 03.03.11 at 9:24 pm

Any plan at the Arena site will be worth voting down. The CC move in ’97 was a mistake we are still paying for, you don’t fix those kinds of mistakes by tripling down on it.

#14 anominous on 03.06.11 at 9:14 am

Has anyone announced just how much deeper than anticipated this bedrock really is?

#15 l3wis on 03.06.11 at 8:00 pm

Yup, “A little bit more.” and it just happens to cost about $1.3 million more 🙂