Downtown Fargo pedestrian bridge inching closer to becoming a reality
FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - Officials are inching closer to bringing a pedestrian bridge connecting downtown Fargo to the Red River to life.
The bridge would be built over 2nd St. N., and would start near Fargo City Hall and bring bikers and walkers above the flood walls and to the Greenway along the river.
Officials say two potential renderings of the second street pedestrian bridge stood out the most in a recent survey to stakeholders. Both concepts give a nod to what architects say was their inspiration, the bicycle snake bridge in Denmark.
“It’s a relatively simple bridge, but has a very iconic feel to it,” Scott Middaugh, KLJ Project Manager said.
Officials say depending on which design both the city and the public decide on, it could cost anywhere from $6 to 11 million. It’s a price tag many city commissioners say they have no problem with as long as it’s done correctly.
“If we wanted to build the cheapest, we could do what we always do with our bridges. Cement and a straight thing. To me, this is an opportunity to build something that’s iconic and visually interesting,” commissioner Dave Piepkorn said.
“I would hope that we would not be short-sighted on the ultimate design because of cost,” commissioner Arlette Preston said.
The city has received a $2.4 million federal grant for the project on top of a local donation of $600,000. Where the other money will come from is still a question city leaders are working on.
“The other piece we’re going to talk about is bonding. We can talk about our Riverfront TIF (Tax Increment Financing), we can talk about other sources of revenue to nab this to make sure we’re giving you that kind of infrastructure that is that thing we’re going to be proud of 30-40 years down the road,” Mike Redlinger, City of Fargo Asst. City Administrator said.
Officials say they aim to finalize designs in six months with bids for the project starting next fall.
Officials also say there is currently no funding planned for a similar bridge in Moorhead, but architects say they are working with those city leaders to see if they would be willing to expand the pedestrian bridge to the Minnesota side of the river.
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