Hudson turns its attention to the river in its backyard

City council focuses riverfront renovations on reconnecting the community and the St. Croix.




2 minute read

Hudson’s boat launch, riverfront, and dike. (Greg Seitz, St. Croix 360)

The city of Hudson is considering how it can redevelop its waterfront on the St. Croix River, improving access and amenities and making the most of the river as a city asset.

A key goal is drawing in visitors arriving by boat, as well as better connecting the bustling Main Street with the river.

“We want to bring in people off the water, not just people coming in with their cars,” Mike Johnson, community development director for the City of Hudson, reported the Pioneer Press.

While still early in the process, proposals include a boardwalk, as well as moving businesses to better locations, and occasionally closing Walnut Street to provide a corridor from Main St. to the river.

The city has hired consulting firm SEH to lead an initial study of possibilities.

The Hudson Star Observer reports that the city’s mayor, Rich O’Connor, pushed planners to add an approximately 800-foot boardwalk along the levy, wide enough to walk on or fish from, with places for boaters to tie up and explore the city.

“For many years, you look at all these river towns and they’ve absolutely turned their backs to the river,” O’Connor said. “I really think this is just a fabulous resource that we need to take advantage of because I personally think it identifies who we are as a city.”

Other options include an improved park at the end of the city dike, which extends almost half a mile into the river, moving the amphitheater or addressing sun glare issues, and more.

The vision process is expected to be completed by the end of the year, and the city will start breaking the project down into manageable pieces and seeking funding. SEH told the council the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources would likely be able to support the renovations.


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Hudson turns its attention to the river in its backyard