Naperville Riverwalk 2031
In 2031, the City will celebrate the 200th anniversary of its incorporation and the 50th anniversary of the Riverwalk. In recognition of these two milestones and the importance of the Riverwalk to the City and its visitors, there are exciting new plans to ensure the Riverwalk remains the Crown Jewel of Naperville for generations to come.
After considerable public outreach, the Naperville Riverwalk Commission has prepared this Riverwalk 2031 Master Plan to inspire the community and its leaders and to guide Riverwalk policy and resource allocation. This plan defines a compelling bicentennial goal, measurable objectives, exciting projects and a thoughtful implementation process that, when complete, will maintain the Riverwalk’s extraordinary cultural, environmental and economic impact on Naperville’s success.
Highlights of the 2031 Riverwalk Master Plan include:
- Expansion of the Grand Pavilion to accommodate a multitude of events
- A new Prairie Nature Garden to showcase native ecology and habitat
- Riverbank restoration to improve ecology, habitat and connectivity
- A new park and gateway to North Central College
- Improvements near Hillside Avenue to increase exposure and accommodate cyclists
- Extension of the Riverwalk to Martin Avenue, linking to the Edward-Elmhurst Campus
Moser Tower Structural Assessment - Updated March 2020
In 2015, a structural assessment of Moser Tower was conducted to evaluate this asset's current condition and develop an asset management plan moving forward. The full Moser Tower structural assessment was released in 2017.
In fall 2017, the Riverwalk Commission sought additional testing and evaluation on the structure to gain more in-depth information. Engineering Resource Associates (ERA) submitted a proposal to the Riverwalk Commission at the end of 2017 to further assess the structural condition of Moser Tower.
In-depth testing on Moser Tower began in April 2018. During that time, ERA and its subcontractors further assessed the tower to determine the root cause of the structure’s deterioration. Additional modeling included a dynamic analysis of the tower to explore how the structure functions under different circumstances at specific stress points. This work was completed in August 2019, and a draft addendum that includes results of this testing was submitted to the City in November 2019. The draft addendum and supporting documentation are available to view below.
Riverwalk Commission and City Council Decisions
The Riverwalk Commission used all the information gathered to help form a recommendation to the City Council regarding Moser Tower. Three alternatives were discussed for the future of the tower: 1) Repair the tower, 2) Repair the tower and enclose the lower portion of it in glass as originally designed, or 3) Inspect the tower regularly and eventually take it down when it is no longer structurally safe.
At its Feb. 12, 2020 meeting, the Riverwalk Commission unanimously approved the first alternative, repairing Moser Tower in one phase, as the recommended alternative to the City Council. The Council discussed Moser Tower at its March 3, 2020 meeting and voted unanimously to concur with the Riverwalk Commission’s recommendation.
The Council vote on March 3 gives staff direction to prepare construction plans and documents in 2020 with actual repair work taking place in 2021. The alternative Council voted on will address the structural issues found over the past several years of testing and provide a clear path for future maintenance needs and costs; it does not enclose the tower or make any additions to the structure.
The total cost over 30 years to both repair and maintain Moser Tower is estimated at around $2.3 million dollars. Dollars for construction plans and documents were earmarked as part of the 2020 budget process. A decision on how to fund 2021’s repair work and ongoing maintenance would be made later this year as part of the City’s annual budget process.
Bids and contracts for the Moser Tower repair work would come back before the City Council for a final vote prior to any work taking place.