Bend Whitewater Park: Bend, Oregon
A dam built on the Deschutes River at Colorado Avenue in 1911 was a significant safety hazard and required the 160,000+ annual river users to exit the river and portage around the impediment. In replacing the Colorado Avenue Dam, three channels were created in the river to provide locals and tourists with river recreation experience, right at the center of Bend, Oregon.
Balancing Recreation with River Health
Bend Whitewater Park features a number of elements intended to meet the overarching goal of balancing recreational access with health of the Deschutes River. The design removed life-threatening rock and steel pilings and enhanced protections for natural habitats while expanding recreation opportunities by creating two whitewater channels (one for expert and one for beginner river enthusiasts). In accounting for a 100-year flood event and revising flood insurance rate maps, a conditional letter of map revision (CLOMR) and letter of map revision (LOMR) were developed. The project also replaced the bike/pedestrian bridge that connects McKay Park to Miller’s Landing Park on either side of the river and provides a platform for public observation of the river recreation in the Whitewater Park.