Double waterslide to be built in Utica park, will be free to public

Want to start making plans to cool off next summer in Central New York? A double waterslide will open to the public soon.

The City of Utica announced Thursday that it will build a 25-foot, dual waterslide that will open in Thomas R. Proctor Park in Utica before the first day of summer 2024. The outdoor slide is custom-designed by Albany-based water ride supplier Splashtacular and Weston & Sampson and will be located near a newly built splash pad and playground.

WKTV reports the slide will be self-contained with no pool or deep water required to operate. Riders will be stopped by a self-contained unit at the foot of each slide, according to CNYCentral.

“You won’t see anything else like this around here!” the City of Utica wrote on Facebook, along with a preview of the project. “We’re building a 25 foot, double water slide that is free for the public. Our residents deserve the best and we want the best park system possible for them! It’ll be ready before summer (April) and we’re looking forward to watching Utica cool off with this water slide.”

According to a press release, the $1.5 million project will use funds from the American Rescue Plan Act for the Utica Prosperity Initiative. The slide and splash pad are part of an effort to upgrade Utica’s T.R. Proctor Park and Roscoe Conkling Park for more outdoor recreation spaces following the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Children, families and visitors will all remember the times they had plunging into the water to beat the heat. We want to have the best park system in the entire state,” Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri told WKTV. “With our recent investments, including this new way for residents to cool off, Utica will be more fun, more sustainable and more enjoyable for people from all over. I ask the residents to help us get the most out of these improvements by using all equipment properly and with care.”

According to the release, Palmieri researched the project by visiting a recently installed public waterslide in Watervliet that has become popular for residents and visitors. The Utica slide will be constructed based on local factors, such as seasonal considerations, maintenance resources, staffing levels and target audience,” stated in a release.

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