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Construction begins on Water Works, new downtown riverfront park project

An illustration depicting Water Works from above

Section of West River Parkway scheduled to close beginning July 29 to accommodate construction

Construction has begun on Water Works, a new downtown riverfront park project within Mill Ruins Park!

This week work began with excavation around the buried Columbia Mill walls and rehabilitation of historic stonework masonry. Much of the initial work consists of site excavation, grading and utilities, with building demolition and new construction happening later.

About Water Works

Water Works is a two-phase, transformative riverfront park project along the downtown Minneapolis Riverfront.

The first phase, called the Mezzanine Phase, encompasses about 2.5 acres, from West River Parkway to 1st Street S, and 3rd Avenue S to Fifth Avenue S. It includes a new indoor riverfront pavilion featuring a restaurant and food service venue run by The Sioux Chef, upper terrace and plantings, city steps overlooking the Mississippi River, outdoor play areas and gathering spaces, a connection to the Mill City Quarter woonerf and improved biking and walking connections.

The Minneapolis Parks Foundation is a partner in this this project and has raised millions of dollars through private and corporate philanthropy to support Water Works and other RiverFirst projects.

Phase 1 is expected to be complete in late summer 2020. Phase 2, the Riverside Phase, will follow the Mezzanine Phase.

An illustration showing people in front of the Water Works pavilion at night

An illustration showing people enjoying the area outside the new riverfront pavilion at night

West River Parkway Closure

West River Parkway is scheduled to close July 29 (possibly later) to accommodate construction activities while maintaining a safe environment for workers and park users. It will reopen in the fall.

The parkway will close between Fourth Avenue North and the Stone Arch Bridge parking lot.  Access to the Whitney Lofts will remain open. The MPRB will try to keep the Stone Arch Bridge parking lot open, but it may close if safety becomes an issue.

The bicycle and pedestrian trail on this stretch of West River Parkway will also close later this fall. The MPRB will work to keep the trails open as much as possible and minimize temporary travel surfaces.

About this project

Water Works is a transformative park development project adjacent to St. Anthony Falls and the Stone Arch Bridge that will bring significant new historic, cultural, and recreational amenities to one of the most iconic locations in Minneapolis.

Project Manager

Kate Lamers

Phone: 612-230-6486


General Park Questions

Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board

Phone: 612-230-6400


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