The Wayzata Lake Effect is a community-wide multi-year initiative to redevelop Wayzata’s greatest asset for the 21st century. The Initiative is composed of multiple components and phases.
The Lake Effect effort is focused on shared long-term goals for the city’s best asset: Revitalizing the lakefront, making it safer, more ecologically friendly, and improving access to and along the shore.
“If we can accomplish that, we’ll have done the best we can for Wayzata.”
– Mayor Ken Willcox
On April 19, the Lake Effect design team presented the final schematic design book to the Wayzata City Council. The book includes perspective and schematic designs, the phased construction plan and cost estimates, and long-term maintenance and operations cost estimates and sources.
Signature Park Design Highlights
Eco Park/Section Foreman House – Eastern gateway to the lakewalk featuring a restored pond and marshland. A restorative “pocket park” that respects the natural state of the lake edge and provides an intriguing natural experience suitable for everyday enjoyment for people of all ages, as well as ecological education.
Lake Walk – Entered from the east at Broadway, the lake walk zig-zags along the lake edge and is embraced by restored marsh. The lake walk will feel like a short walk in another world – only steps from the heart of the city.
Active Beach – The plan is to expand and activate the beach in a way that’s suitable for families and people of all ages. By closing the retention pond and treating the storm water underground, space is made available to expand concessions. The beach becomes more inviting with the addition of shade structures and a diving pier.
People-friendly Lake Street – Increase the bike-ability and walkability of Lake Street with an expanded sidewalk and dedicated bike lane, while keeping three lanes for cars. Modest treatment to paving and lighting suggest slowing down and enjoying the lakefront and can become temporary car-free gathering places during the occasional community oriented event.
In 2012 Hurricane Sandy hit the Eastern Seaboard, destroying thousands of businesses, homes, public amenities and regional infrastructure including the iconic Rockaway Boardwalks in Queens, NY, a peninsula beloved by surfers and beachcombers from around the world. To replace the boardwalk, city agencies, alongside the Army Corps of Engineers, commissioned a team to reimagine the six miles of beachfront with a resilient, creative vision. Nearly $480 million was allocated to the project through Sandy-relief funding.
The goal to achieve a resilient reconstruction of the boardwalks became the impetus to think more broadly and create an urban design framework and plan for climate change, not only for the boardwalk reconstruction but complementary plans for rebuilding the peninsula's parks and open spaces; this became the Rockaway Parks Conceptual Plan.
Based on an extensive community planning effort, a cohesive vision for the boardwalk and parks emerged featuring playgrounds, skate parks, performance spaces, and shade structures tailored to the beach environment. The reconstructed boardwalk stretches nearly five miles along the beach and features a number of new amenities.
The 40-foot wide boardwalk represents a model for innovative climate adaptation infrastructure. The design incorporates hard and soft measures to ensure the boardwalks’ longevity. Not only is the structure elevated above the 100-year floodplain on reinforced concrete piles, but the project also includes stabilization and planting of the existing sand dunes. The sand infill between the dunes is replenished and expanded and a new sand-retaining baffle wall under the boardwalk was added. A new “sand waII" minimizes sand movement off the beach but allows water flow. The two-fold goals of this reconstruction will help restore natural habitat in addition to reconnecting the residents of this barrier island.
The "dune" walk is created with wave-shaped, sand-colored and blue concrete planks, a new "kit of parts composed of bench types, stepped ramps, decks, railings, and seat walls, as well as the largest installation of the new LED City Light. The curved lines running the length of the boardwalk mirror the sinuous coastline. The blue planks create the pixels of a new supersized font that announce the identity of this beach community in giant letters visible from afar and to planes landing at JFK.
At dusk, the idea of the shore is reinforced by glow-in-the dark aggregate embedded in the blue planks, evoking the bioluminescence in the ocean.
In tandem with the park amenity structures and the Conceptual Plan, the Boardwalk Reconstruction project creates a more sustainable, resilient and active shoreline for the Rockaways.