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OGDEN -- The Ogden River carries a lot of promise for the future of that city. On Thursday, Ogden leaders broke ground on a river restoration project that will improve water quality and revive a community centerpiece. The Ogden River Parkway links more than a dozen of the city's top attraction. City leaders say the restoration project will reverse blighted effects along the river and create another downtown attraction as they redevelop the area around it.
The 9.6 mile pathway along the river meanders through the heart of the city. The trail begins at the mouth of Ogden Canyon and ends at the south end of Fort Buenaventura just west of 24th Street.
Construction on the path started in 1992, but it's been hidden. So the city wants to take advantage of the community asset and take better care of the water.
Chief Administrative Officer for Ogden John Patterson says, "Improve and beautify this habitat, improve it for fish and all the riparian creatures, and restore the river to its original historic condition."
Over the years, some treated it as an open dumping ground. The goal is to raise the profile of the river and take better advantage of what it has to offer for recreation, fishing and development.
From the standpoint of aquatic restoration, it's one of the largest projects ever in the state. Paul Burnett, an aquatic biologist for the Utah Department of Wildlife Resources, says, "For years, this area of the river was inaccessible for everybody in town. Now, we have a pathway along the river. The city should be commended for that, and we'll have improved habitat."
Phase I runs from Wall Avenue to Washington Boulevard.