McHenry Riverwalk Foundation announces 3rd phase of expansion plan

Project expected to be complete by June 30

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The McHenry Riverwalk Foundation has announced its plans for the third phase of the downtown Riverwalk project.

The project will connect the pedestrian bridge on the north side of Boone Creek at Riverside Drive to the Riverwalk on the Fox River at Miller’s Dream Marine, foundation President John Smith said in a news release.

Work will begin in the spring and should be complete by June 30, Smith said.

“This expansion will connect the first two phases of the Riverwalk together and create tremendous opportunities for recreational and economic growth,” Smith said. “Certainly, it will complement the McHenry Shamrocks the Fox event and Fiesta Days events held there annually.”

The cost of the Riverwalk project will be $454,534, and it is being funded by private donations collected by the foundation.

A pavilion also is planned for the Miller Point and old Dobyns House property at Riverside Drive.

The foundation wants to build a gazebo in the same space, which could be used for weddings and music performances, according to the foundation.

The city bought Miller Point, a
2.62-acre lot on North Riverside Drive, in 2012 after a fire destroyed the 1929 Dobyns House and the restaurant in it, leaving it vacant for several years.

“It is hoped that this structure will be constructed at the same time and also be ready for June 30,” Smith said. “However, no official contract has been let as of this time, even though bids have been received.”

Huntley-based Landmark Contractors Inc. will complete the third phase of the project. The company was the lowest bidder of four and also completed the second phase, according to the foundation.

The city constructed the first phase of the Riverwalk in 2006, and the project slowly has moved forward over the years. The second phase of the project was completed several years ago on the north side of Route 120.

The McHenry City Council approved the improvements on its Miller Point property in December 2017.