After more than a year of major renovations, Lakeside Park is open. Sort of.
When Walkway of Lights closed, crews removed the protective fencing around the area of the Christmas display, which led to people walking in the park and fishing from its banks.
Marble Falls Parks and Recreation Director Lacey Dingman said those activities are fine but discouraged people from doing more than that for now.
The city still has a few hoops to jump through to fully open Lakeside Park. With Walkway of Lights taking over the park from late November 2019 to January 1, an inspection by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation was pushed back.
“We are working with TDLR to get a date for our inspection scheduled as quickly as possible,” Dingman said. “They’ll ensure that the site complies with all safety and accessibility standards.”
If the inspection turns up any needed repairs or raises issues, the city will have to address those before completely reopening Lakeside Park.
The city closed Lakeside Park in January 2019 for renovations and upgrades. Officials projected the park would reopen last summer but opted to hold off until the grass and other landscaping was better established.
As a result, the city moved the reopening of the park until after Walkway of Lights ended, Dingman added.
The renovations were part of the city’s Phase 1A park plan, which included work at Lakeside and Johnson parks as well as some downtown area improvements.
The parts of Phase 1A that are completed are:
- improvements to the Backbone Creek boat ramp at Johnson Park
- improvements to the Hays addition boat ramp, located off Lakeshore Drive
- Johnson Park restroom
- downtown restroom
- improvements to Buena Vista Drive, which were substituted for Yett Street improvements and parking
- Lakeside Beach, with final safety work underway by city staff for a projected spring 2020 opening;
- Lakeside Pavilion parking
- Lakeside Park trails
- landscaping and irrigation
The city is also making improvements to Lakeside Pavilion, which opened more than a decade ago. That work includes:
- upgrades and a redesign to the heating and cooling system
- refinishing the floors
- replacing some appliances
- repairing the roof and insulation
- painting the exterior
Lakeside Park was home to one of the public boat ramps, but the city has changed it to non-motorized watercraft launching only. This includes canoes, paddleboards, and kayaks.
People who want to launch motorized watercraft may do so at the ramps at Backbone Creek in Johnson Park and the Hays addition on Lakeshore Drive. Both launches have better parking as part of the Phase 1A renovations.
The projected cost of Phase 1A was $3,331,320. However, the city removed Yett Street parking and wayfinding projects from Phase 1A, which dropped the final number to $2,896,320.