Pueblo, state officials celebrate building milestone on $35M in Riverwalk projects
The additions to the Historic Arkansas Riverwalk of Pueblo keep going up.
On Tuesday, crews put in place the large structural beam sections for the 82-foot-tall glass tower that will serve as a signature landmark for Downtown and the $35 million in new Riverwalk projects. A giant crane was used to stack the two sections.
Local civic leaders, construction workers led by general contractor H.W. Houston Construction of Pueblo and state economic development leaders used the occasion to host a public “topping out” celebration marking the milestone of seeing the project’s final structural beams put into place.
As part of the event, the estimated 100 people in attendance were invited to sign their names
to the last structural beam section prior to its placement. A large American flag was affixed
to the final section.
Construction on the project is estimated at 70 percent complete. It will continue through
the winter and early spring with a shift in focus to mostly exterior and interior finishings of
the new structures. The convention center expansion and parking garage are set to be completed by mid-March.
The guests in attendance for the ceremony included a handful of members of the state Economic Development Commission as well as staff members from the state Office of Economic Development and International Trade. The bulk of the project funding is coming from a state regional tourism grant.
Don Banner, chair of the Pueblo Urban Renewal Authority, reviewed the history of the Riverwalk extension project. While the big push began in 2012, the idea was first discussed in 2007, he said. “Here we are nine years later with the construction on time and on budget,” he said.
Melissa Henricks, vice president of athlete initiatives and development, said the Pueblo-based PBR was anxious for next spring when the organization plans to open the sport performance center to feature an injury recovery center, training equipment, video training room and other amenities.
PBR expects the center to attract professional bull riders and Western sport athletes from across the nation and globe for visits of ranging from two days to a month or longer, she said. PBR also plans to open the center to athletes of all levels in other sports, she said.
“We’re thrilled with the opportunity,” she said.
Benita Duran of Boulder, a Pueblo native and member of the state Economic Development Commission,
said state officials are excited by the progress made by Pueblo on the project. “We’re proud to
add our signatures to the beam that is part of this celebration,” she said.