The shade of a tree. The smell of flowering plants. The sound of running water punctuated by singing birds. These pleasant environmental effects are priceless in a metropolitan location where residents may have limited exposure to the outdoors.

The City of Laconia knows this to be true, and recognizes how access to the natural environment improves the quality of life for urban dwellers. The municipality hired HEB Engineers and Ironwood Design Group to design a riverwalk on the Winnipesaukee River in the downtown district. Once constructed this stretch of riverwalk will connect the stairs at Main Street Bridge to Rowe Court; it will afford passive enjoyment of the river with its new sidewalks, bike racks and benches, attractive plantings, and scenic overlook complete with picnic tables. The design also includes a high performance rain garden to collect and treat stormwater before it can pollute the river. New crosswalks and lighting will keep people safe as they it all in.

Project engineering is in its final phase. Construction is divided in two parts: construction of the segment starting at the City Hall parking lot to Church Street is anticipated in the fall of 2018 to coincide with the seasonal river drawdown, while the Rowe Court segment is slated for spring 2018.

The next time you are in Laconia, be sure to check out this new riverside attraction.