May 2024

Article as printed in the May Willoughby Times:
We are happy to report that our Osborne Park Shoreline planning is well underway, and we recently held a community information meeting to provide an update on this project. Osborne Park is a top priority for the city in 2024.  

For review, in 2021, the city was awarded a $200,000 Emergency Erosion Assistance Grant (EEAG) from ODNR to design and engineer a reimagined Osborne Park lakefront, including erosion repairs and mitigation. This was a critical first step in making our lakefront accessible and enjoyable. The Smith Group, a design consultant with a national reputation for coastal engineering, was retained for this critical work. 

In September 2021, the community gathered at Osborne Park to engage and share ideas about a reimagined Osborne Park shoreline. The administration and City Council agreed this project should look beyond erosion control and develop a master plan for the Osborne Park shoreline. We expect the plan to be implemented in stages, but the result would be a new lakefront that engages our residents and provides additional recreational amenities. At this meeting, SmithGroup presented two design concepts during a visioning session focusing on what this park could be. Based on this feedback, the designers created a hybrid design (“Master Plan”). 

On June 8, 2022, the community reconvened at the Willoughby Senior Center for a project update led by our design team, and the SmithGroup presented a revised park design. The designers shared their process for formulating the current concepts, reviewed preliminary budgets, and plans to seek grant opportunities. Advancing the master plan was outlined in two phases: shoreline restoration/protection and upland improvements.  

Our latest community information meeting was held on April 17, 2024. SmithGroup shared information on phase one coastal engineering during this meeting, including a comprehensive bathymetric study. This water-based survey maps the depths and shapes of the land-water interface and analyzes the wave patterns, heights, and currents that affect the planned coastal structures/beaches. These studies are essential to ensure our work will withstand wave action, high water events, and storms for many years. Phase one will address immediate concerns, including stabilizing eroded slopes and implementing erosion control measures. This phase also includes creating pathways to the waterfront ensuring public access while safeguarding essential storm sewer and water lines. Once approvals are received from all regulatory authorities and we have a final estimate of costs, we will bid the phase one work.

The designers also presented the current schematic design, the first phase of the architectural design, for phase two uplands. This phase will include walks, overlooks, and other site amenities such as sitting areas and swinging benches.

We’ll upload the latest presentation and design to our website this month, and we are eager to hear your thoughts. We encourage you to share your feedback through the designated online form featured on that page.