There’s plenty of good news about the long-promised Grand Avenue bridge.
First, US Senator Kit Bond’s office called this week to say that the senior senator was able to get $15 million in the new Transportation Reauthorization Bill for the Grand Avenue Bridge replacement.
The senator’s help means that another City project is ready to move from the drawing board to construction.
Second, Marjorie Melton, the president of the Board of Public Service, briefed me on the work she and a team of creative engineers have done to ensure that the bridge will be rebuilt for a good price and with a really good design that picks up the best elements of the original bridge.
Marjorie and her engineers discovered that the existing bridge could be reused and strengthened using a new drilling technique. This means that the bridge will remain open during construction, eliminating a lot of inconvenience to those who use the bridge—and can be rebuilt for a much lower cost. (Leaving the bridge open during construction will also cut costs since we won’t have to put up a temporary bridge nor do a complex traffic detour plan.)
The new Grand Avenue bridge will have significantly improved facilities for pedestrians and bikers. And it will give Metro an opportunity to iron out some of the logistical issues that have marred its bus and light rail service on the current bridge.
I think the new Grand Avenue bridge will look great at a reasonable price.
That should be the goal for every new bridge . . .