After several years of planning, the expansion of Bend’s Big Sky Park is now on hold thanks to budget constraints tied to the COVID crisis.
Bend Parks and Rec’s $4 million project called for a new Hamby Road driveway and parking area, improved walking trails, and a new bike park with a cyclocross course, BMX track and singletrack trails.
Expansion of the dog park was completed last year.
Brian Hudspeth, development manager for BPRD, said the district expects a significant drop in revenue in the next fiscal year.
“It’s not that the district doesn’t want to do it; we’re really excited about it. It’s a neat project. We’ve spent a lot of time and effort to get to where we are right now,” he said. “We were really excited and then, no one could’ve predicted what happened. Due to those circumstances, it’s prudent, I think that we hold on to that money.”
The proposal wasn’t without some controversy as neighbors were concerned about noise from events expected to take place at the expanded park.
But Deschutes County Commissioners approved the plans in January 2019. Construction bids were expected in February 2020 and work was to begin later this year.
Hudspeth said he’s hopeful the project can move forward next year.