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Floating docks one of several upgrades coming to Davis Park

Published: Jun. 18, 2022 at 10:29 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Boaters on the Rock River will soon be able to park their boat at Davis Park with floating docks coming later this year.

The city of Rockford will take bids for seawall repairs starting next week to help with the floating docks. Residents hope the changes coming to the park can drive more people to the heart of the city.

Residents say this will make trips along the river more convenient.

“I think that’s gonna be pretty cool,” says resident Jeff Lindquist. “I noticed a lot of boaters will come down here. They get to the dam. They have to turn around and go back if they have a destination such as the docks, they can dock it here. They can get out in the park, they can hang out they can do all kinds of things.”

Boaters can dock their boat, enjoy Davis Park, grab something to eat and explore downtown Rockford. Jeff Lindquist frequently comes to Davis park with his dog. He says the addition of the docks can revitalize the 30-year-old park.

“The water is one of our greatest assets and it’s been underutilized for far too long. We are really trying to bring that into the fold and the fabric of downtown,” says Mayor Tom McNamara.

“I think with the upgrades with the docking and a little more exposure to people, they realize it’s here,” says Lindquist.

The city also plans to add a splash pad, redo paths and landscaping and add a stage for a grass amphitheater at Davis Park. These upgrades add to the 160 million dollars of additions to one area of downtown Rockford.

“It’s also going to be advantageous for visitors coming to the hotel or people who are living in Rockford but now are living downtown. To be able to walk through and spend time with family it’s really going to have a lot of great features,” says McNamara.

“They have had concerts here and that worked out great, but a true amphitheater would really seal the deal,” says Lindquist.

State Senator Steve Stadelman secured state funding for the floating docks and Representative Maurice West guaranteed funds for the upgrades coming soon to Davis Park.

Residents should see more progress on the floating docks later this year. Construction on the amenities coming to Davis park should start next year.

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