FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4) — The most playful portion of the Poudre River redevelopment project on the north side of Fort Collins had its grand opening Saturday.

Kayakers splashed through a ribbon cutting at the new whitewater park just east of the College Avenue bridge.

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(credit: Facebook/Ft Collins Police Services)

The park is central to the multi-year, $11 million project focused on improving a stretch of the Poudre River in town. The park is the most urban portion of the project.

A new pedestrian bridge connecting the north and south banks was also celebrated. According to the Fort Collins Coloradoan, former Colorado State University Athletic Director Jack Graham donated $1 million toward the construction of the bridge and dedicated it to his parents.

(credit: Facebook/Ft Collins Police Services)

Aside from providing a new year-round play area for water sports enthusiasts, the project deepened and narrowed the river to improve its ability to contain flood waters. It also removed two old dam structures to facilitate the migration of fish upstream.

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The Coy Ditch diversion dam was demolished as part of the Poudre River redevelopment north of downtown. The Coy Ditch had dried up, as had the ponds it feed, and the structure impeded the passage of fish upstream. (credit: City of Fort Collins)

A boulder-lined structure called the boat chute was also removed. (credit: City Fort Collins)

The farther away from the park and College Avenue’s bridge, the greater the emphasis on restoring the river’s natural habitats.

The Fort Collins City Council approved the Poudre River Downtown Master Plan in October of 2014.

The project under construction. (credit: Facebook/Ft Collins Police Services)

 

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