I posted before that during this year’s legislative session, $2 million was set aside to finally get a pedestrian/biking bridge to replace the currently condemned truss bridge that spans the Minnesota river between Burnsville and Bloomington. The bridge was closed to all traffic, including foot, in 2002 and there has been no pedestrian/bike route from the South of the River to North of the River on this side of town since. At this time, the only option is to ride your ass all the way down to Shakopee and cross near 169.
According to the Star Tribune, because federal money was set aside for this bridge, there is a clause that requires it be evaluated by historians to determine if renovation should occur rather than outright replacement. The bridge is apparently eligible to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places and several people who have a vested interest in seeing it remain as a historic place are fighting to do just that. Denis Gardner, author of a book about historic bridges in Minnesota, Larry Granger of the Bloomington Historical Society, and Sen. Jim Carlson DFL-Eagan are all interested in keeping the bridge as is but only if it’s financially feasible. The other side of the coin is that during its most recent tests, the bridge just wasn’t structurally sound. Jim Gates, Bloomington’s deputy director of public works, said that repairing the bridge would be more expensive than just replacing it.
Estimates including road repair, trail building and bridge costs total about $4.5 million and, at this time, will come from federal funding, Met Council dollars, and Bloomington taxpayers. The city hopes that they will be able to get additional dollars from Hennepin and Dakota counties, Burnsville and Eagan who will hook their hike/bike trails to this bridge. While costs for replacement have been considered, no one is quite sure what the cost would be for renovations. A historical assessment will begin in August and will take approximately two months. Once that is complete it will give everyone a better idea of just how much historical preservation would run but I really wonder what the decision makers consider “financially feasible”.
dgbrong, a commenter on the Star Tribune said:
It’s a bridge. It’s old and worn out. Replace it already.
What do you think? Should the bridge be replaced or should it be renovated, possibly adding a larger tax burden on Dakota and Hennepin taxpayers along with Bloomington, Burnsville and Eagan residents?