The first phase of construction on the $120 million Smale Riverfront Park is nearly complete. A handful of small construction pieces continue, but most large items have been finished. Project officials will open the first phase of the 45-acre central riverfront park in the coming months, and will celebrate the grand opening of the Moerlein Lager House on February 27, 2012.

“This summer we will continue working our way east with our connection to Paddle Wheel Park, Public Landing and other waterfront parks,” project manager Dave Prather detailed. “We expect that piece to be completed spring 2013 which is when we plan to proceed with construction of the boat dock.”

In the latest video update on the project Prather also takes viewers inside the Moerlein Lager House for the first look at the second-floor Hudepohl Bar, and highlights the finishings inside the Beer Barons Hall of Fame.

Prather also highlighted the completion of the park’s geothermal system which will soon be operational and carrying one million gallons of 57-degree water through the system daily.

The bike runnels along the Walnut Street steps are now visible and will allow for bicyclists to easily transport their bikes down the staircase to the Bike & Mobility Center which is scheduled for an April 2012 opening. While much progress has been made on phase one, progress on future phases are still up in the air.

“We don’t think we will be able to proceed with construction further west for another couple of years,” explained Prather. “So it probably will be a 2014 or 2015 project, but it will depend on some federal authorizations and funding.”