Construction begins on Riverside skate park, Artist Walk under Fuller Warren Bridge

Shaded public plaza will be part of new section of ‘Emerald Trail’ in Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The city of Jacksonville has broken ground on its newest addition to the 30-mile-long “Emerald Trail,” which includes a shaded public plaza, featuring an artistic skate park.

Artist Walk, located under the west end of the Fuller Warren Bridge, is a three-block-long public space with landscaping, sculptures, seating and a stylized skate plaza with three different spaces for various skill levels.

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The $8.8 million park is located across Riverside Avenue from the site of the weekly Riverside Arts Market and will be connected to the Fuller Warren Shared Use Path and Emerald Trail. It was designed to serve as a visual gateway between Riverside and Brooklyn.

The project, which is expected to take about two years to complete, is being funded by the city and the Florida Department of Transportation.

“We’re pleased to see work get underway on this unique and exciting new project,” said Daryl Joseph, director of Parks, Recreation and Social Services for the city of Jacksonville. “Along with new destination parks coming soon in Riverfront Plaza, Shipyards West and a redesigned St. Johns River Park, Artist Walk will be one of several new Downtown attractions for the entire community to enjoy.”

The Artist Walk will extend from the Fuller Warren overpass area on Riverside Avenue northwest to Park Street under Interstate 95 and connect to College Street.

True to its name, the park will be crafted as a skateable piece of art and will also feature a synthetic-turf, flexible-use plaza for events such as displays by local artists.

“We’re always looking for ways to have our local artisans to have more impact and more space to create, so that’s going to be a wonderful part of this,” Mayor Donna Deegan said.

The skating area was designed by California Skateparks, which has built more than 500 skateboarding facilities around the world.

“These new parks, along with a number of other infrastructure projects, are a key element of the Downtown Master Plan to further activate and energize Downtown,” said Lori Boyer, CEO of the Downtown Investment Authority. “They’ll enhance the Downtown experience for residents and workers, improve property values and strengthen Downtown as an attraction for local residents and out-of-town visitors.”

The Emerald Trail, which is under development in the urban core, connects trails, greenways and parks within the urban core and links at least 14 historic neighborhoods to downtown, including Hogans Creek, McCoys Creek and the St. Johns River.

Sixteen schools, two colleges and 21 parks will also be linked as well as businesses, restaurants, and retail shops.

The city hopes to finish the Emerald Trail project by 2029.

About the Authors:

This native of the Big Apple joined the News4Jax team in July 2021.

Jim Piggott is the reporter to count on when it comes to city government and how it will affect the community.