Vancouver’s Waterfront Park adds another award

Grant Street Pier is the focus of the award, given by the American Public Works Association

VANCOUVER — Vancouver’s new Waterfront Park added another award to its growing list of honors with the American Public Works Association (APWA) award on April 25 in Tacoma. The APWA’s Washington chapter recognized the city of Vancouver’s Parks and Recreation Department with its highest award for public works excellence. The Grant Street Pier — a stunning concrete structure projecting almost 100 feet over the Columbia River — is the focus of the award.

The Grant Street Pier at the new Vancouver Waterfront Park extends 90-feet over the Columbia River. Photo by Mike Schultz
The Grant Street Pier at the new Vancouver Waterfront Park extends 90-feet over the Columbia River. Photo by Mike Schultz

Vancouver Waterfront Park is a key part of the downtown waterfront master plan, with a goal to reconnect the city to the Columbia River. The 7.3-acre park creates public access to the river for the first time in more than a century. The unique pier design has no in-water structures, which minimizes impact to the river’s ecosystem and combines artistic vision with innovative engineering.

“Vancouver Waterfront Park and Grant Street Pier highlight the city’s past while ushering in a vibrant vision for the future,” said Parks and Recreation Director Julie Hannon. “Through diverse recreational opportunities and ecological restoration, we are connecting our city’s exciting and growing downtown to a scenic public waterfront that visitors and our local community can enjoy.”

Serving as the centerpiece of the park is the Grant Street Pier. Inspired by the river sailboats of Vancouver’s heritage, artist Larry Kirkland envisioned the pier floating above the river. This vision challenged the project engineers to be creative. The iconic pier design is a thoughtful combination of architecture and engineering, providing a safe and accessible waterfront experience at the Columbia River shoreline.

After reviewing public works projects submitted from across the state, the APWA recognized Vancouver Parks and Recreation for their visionary work. “The iconic nature of the design, brought to reality with technically excellent and fiscally efficient engineering, provides Vancouver with a new sense of civic identity and pride,” said the APWA in its news release about this year’s awards. “To our knowledge, there is no other structure in the world like the Grant Street Pier. The single-abutment, post-tensioned, cable-stayed pier is a first-of-its-kind example of what engineers can achieve.”

Since its early planning stages in 2010, the Vancouver Waterfront Park Project has been recognized with 10 awards:

  • Project of the Year: AWPA Washington (2019)
  • Project of the Year: American Council of Engineering Companies of Washington (2019)
  • Project of the Year: American Council of Engineering Companies of Oregon (2019)
  • Facilities & Parks Spotlight Award for Outdoor Space: Washington Recreation & Park Association (2019)
  • Game Changers Award: Vancouver’s Downtown Association (2019)
  • Excellence in Concrete – Pedestrian Walkways: American Concrete Institute, Oregon Chapter and American Concrete & Aggregate Producers Association (2019)
  • CRE Transformer Award: Portland Business Journal (2018)
  • Spirit of Tourism Award: Visit Vancouver (2018)
  • Smart Communities Award for Development Project to Implement a Comprehensive Plan: Governor’s Office (2010)
  • Honorable Mention – Physical Plan: American Planning Association/Planning Association of Washington (2010)

About Vancouver Parks and Recreation

Vancouver Parks and Recreation builds upon the city’s strong legacy of parks, natural areas and recreation dating back to the dedication of Esther Short Park in 1853. Each month, the Parks and Recreation Department provides hundreds of recreation opportunities for youth, adults, seniors and persons with disabilities at its two community centers. Parks and Recreation operates 1,600 acres of parkland at 113 sites, including 90 parks, 20 miles of trails and many natural areas for the city of Vancouver. The Parks and Recreation Department cultivates community in the city and beyond through ongoing special events and volunteer programs that celebrate the city’s natural spaces.

About APWA

The American Public Works Association is a not-for-profit, international organization of more than 30,000 members involved in the field of public works. APWA supports those who operate, improve and maintain public works and infrastructure through advocacy, education, and member engagement. APWA has 63 chapters in North America.

Information provided by city of Vancouver.

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