KUSA - It took three times as long to build and cost twice as much as expected, but Shoemaker Plaza at Confluence Park is finally open.
Contamination in the ground led to years of water testing and now, some are questioning how safe it is.
City officials are breathing a sigh of relief because what started as a 10-month project that turned into a two-and-a-half-year construction site is now a finished piece of work.
Michael Bouchard with the Parks Planning Department says they are trying to put those contamination days behind them.
“We've cleaned it up, taken all that material off site,” Bouchard said.
Contamination found in 2015 put the project on hold and doubled the cost of construction while crews cleaned it up.
“The original budget was $4.5 million but with the environmental, issues it ended up doubling to about $9 million,” Bouchard said.
Bob Armstrong has lived in Denver his whole life and he's thrilled to see changes here.
“I've never seen fly fisherman right here at the confluence of the Platte,” Armstrong said.
Now, there are lots of them and there are also kayakers, but the city is not ready for you to jump in head first.
“There are times that river can have E. coli or other types of bacteria,” Bouchard said. “You should definitely wash your hands, use hand sanitizer after contact with the water just to be safe.”
But they hope those safety measures won't be permanent.
“That is our goal, to make this swimmable and fishable,” Bouchard said.
So basically the water is safe for kayakers and those who don't go in the water above the knee--- and because of the possibility of E.coli and bacteria, fishing is catch and release only.
They have also upgraded the trails for bikers and runners and have even added more lights and security for those who plan to go when it’s dark.
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