Wheeling breaks ground at new historic park

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October 31 2021 11:59 pm

WHEELING W.Va.( WTRF) To celebrate the history of the Wheeling Suspension Bridge, the city broke ground today, jump starting the Gateway Park Project.   

The city began this $1.5 million project to create a park that will not only highlight the beauty of the city but pay tribute to its history as well.

The Park is being developed on an acre of city-owned land just south of the span on Wheeling Island’s South Front Street.  

This six-phase project is said to become the face of the island. The groundbreaking ceremony began phase one of the operation.  

Mayor Glenn Elliott says the park will check off so many boxes for the city. It will connect us to the waterfront as well as clean up the Island.   

This Park is going to give us the opportunity to really tie into the Ohio River and to show off the downtown from this Wheeling Island location. Most importantly it’s going to celebrate the bridge.

The suspension bridge is probably the most identifiable Wheeling monument or structure that there is.   

So having this here as a place to appreciate the bridge and kind of show off its history and tell its story, in this Wheeling Island neighborhood right on the Ohio River to me is great asset to our community

Mayor Glenn Elliott, The City of Wheeling

The Fitzsimmons Foundation gifted the City of Wheeling $150,000 to go toward two phases of the project.   

Rocky Fitzsimmons with the Fitzsimmons Foundation says he believes the park will draw people from all over and leave a great first impression on visitors.   

Well, I heard someone in the crowd here today during the groundbreaking say that it’s going to be the best and most beautiful park along the Ohio River, and I have no doubts.

It is a wonderful location but more important I think it’s going to be a shot in the arm for the quality of life for the residents of Wheeling Island and for the entire city and community at large.

Rocky Fitzsimmons, Fitzsimmons Foundation

The Gateway Park will feature things such as a history walk, swinging benches, a boardwalk and more.   The plan will even create entry points to the river for boats and kayaking. 

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