NORFOLK, Neb.-- On Wednesday, construction was underway for the Johnson Park In-Stream Improvement Project.

It's a part of the North Fork River Restoration Project that officially broke ground on Tuesday.

The project has been in the works for quite a while but now it's a reality.

The Johnson Park Revitalization Plan focuses on the rehabilitation of a park that was once considered an integral part of Norfolk’s economic and cultural identity.

Once the construction is competed, it’ll provide white water characteristics to the river, provide beautification along the banks, and enhance aquatic habitat including fish passages at each drop restoring the ability for fish to easily move upstream.

Shane Sigle, who is the manager at Riverwise Engineering, talked about significance of the job.

“This is basically the downstream end of the project,” Sigle said. “There’s going to be a series of eight structures, there’s a beach area, three different access points, and a multitude of park improvements.”

Sigle added this massive project is not only going to revitalize the Norfolk community but it’s also about trying to get the youth of Norfolk to stay in northeast Nebraska.

“Norfolk is really interested in keeping the young population that they have here,” he said. “The whole Midwest of the United States is suffering from a brain drain. One of Norfolk’s ideas is to create these community focal points that keep our younger people and part of that is creating these recreational amenities.”

He said this part of the project will be completed by next spring.