CRJA-IBI Group is working with the City of Lowell Department of Planning and Development to design the new Point Park, a ½ acre public park at the confluence of the Pawtucket and Hamilton Canals, overlooking the historic Swamp Locks and bounded on two sides by historic canal walls, and the canals themselves, thus giving the park its name. The park will accommodate passive recreation and historic interpretation for tourists, as well as residents of the newly emerging Hamilton Canal District, and form a foreground for future residential mid-rise towers when viewed from the heavily traveled Thorndike Street Bridge across the canal. Given the high visibility, the City of Lowell commissioned an artist to create a monumental sculpture to be set at the high point of the park lawn, and retained CRJA-IBI Group to work with the artist for the scale and setting of the sculpture.
As part of the park development, CRJA-IBI Group designed two canal walks, one along the Swamp Locks/Lower Pawtucket Canal, and the other along the Hamilton Canal, for which they needed to coordinate with both the National Park Service and the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation. This included the design of a new, accessible walkway link across the Revere Street Bridge to the Swamp Locks Multimodal Center. The design for the park and canal walks uses National Park Service canalway details where appropriate. As prime consultant for this project, CRJA-IBI Group coordinated the repair and in some areas the reconstruction of the historic granite canal wall to ensure its structural integrity for the park development, and extend its life as a historic resource. The CRJA-IBI Group team addressed a number of grading challenges encountered while connecting the lower elevation canal walks to higher elevation bridges crossing the canals, using subtly placed retaining walls and/or boardwalks, to avoid adverse impact to the historic and structural integrity of the canal walls.