BOISE -- A popular stretch of the Greenbelt that was shuttered for nearly a year has been reopened, Boise Parks and Recreation announced Friday.
The north-of-the-river section of path had been closed after flooding last spring ate away the river bank and eroded large chunks of the pavement. The newly-repaired area borders Veterans Memorial Park and reestablished a connection to the south side of the the Greenbelt in Garden City via Veterans Memorial Parkway.
"This is quite nice to get back into town in a safe way," said cyclist Jeroen Breman.
The closures and detours have caused somewhat of an inconvenience for cyclist like Breman, who've had to play of game of Pac-Man to get around.
"Cut through the neighborhood over there, Willow Lane all the way to the Starbucks and then ride on State Street until I found a way back into a safe neighborhood," said Breman. "It will cut the time to get into town by five minutes, at least."
The repairs to the north side of the Greenbelt along Veterans Memorial Park cost an estimated $1.2 million.
“We appreciate the public’s patience as construction crews completed these repairs,” said Doug Holloway, Director of the Boise Parks and Recreation Department. “Our planning and design team used lessons learned from the historic flooding last season to minimize future impacts to this section of path.”
City officials used new concrete as opposed to asphalt to help minimize any future damage.
"The concrete holds up much, much better," said Holloway. "In fact, in a lot of the areas that we had significant flood damage this last spring, where there was asphalt, there seemed to be a lot more damage done than where there was concrete, there was very little, if any, done."
Crews also installed a riprap system of river rocks to shore up the the area against future erosion.
"It's basically placed inside the bank in a very tight-fitted engineered state and what it does is it actually shores up the bank and strengthens the bank. So, when there's high river flows, the bank can withstand those high river flows," said Holloway.
The Greenbelt section between Veterans Memorial Park to Esther Simplot Park remains closed as crews are still working on bank restoration.
"We hope to have that back open for the summer time," said Holloway.
Riverbank restoration is still going on along the north side of the Greenbelt between 36th Street and Main Street.
Detours for Greenbelt users are in place in those areas.