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Pandemic delays construction of new park in northeast Eugene

Residents in northeast Eugene will have to wait another year for a new park to be completed. The city said the delay is one of the many side effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Posted: Sep 15, 2021 12:00 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- Residents in northeast Eugene will have to wait another year for a new park to be completed. The city said the delay is one of the many side effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to city landscape architect Mark Kosmos, construction on Striker Field off Grand Cayman Drive was set to begin this summer and open right about now. The 8-acre field will one day become a park with a large playground, restroom, open playing field, walking paths, parking, picnic shelter and more.

But Kosmos said the cost of materials and availability of contractors has forced them to delay things by about a year.

“Our hope is really to have projects constructed and completed by the fall of 2022, which altogether is about a year later than what we initially anticipated,” Kosmos said.

Part of the reason for the delay is the effect the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the construction industry and related materials.

“We were seeing manufacturing issues with all sorts of things that we would need for our project,” Kosmos said. “Right down to playground equipment, furnishings, all sorts of things.”

Materials aside, Kosmos said it has also been difficult to find contractors available to do the work.

“Contractors have other work that they can bid and do. And in fact, they have right now probably more work than they can do. So, by giving them a larger construction window, we think that we're giving them the flexibility to take this project on knowing that they can fit it in with other work.”

The project will also be completed in phases. The first phase, scheduled to open in fall 2022, will include a playground, performance space and stage, trails, parking lot, restroom and more. The second phase will include sports courts and will be added when concrete prices are lower

The project is funded through a bond measure passed by voters in 2018.

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