Fox Point Footbridge Gets Boost to $1.6 Million in 2013
Village Board approves $525,000 in extra funds to remove, repair or rebuild nearly 100-year-old pedestrian footbridge.
The Bridge Lane Ravine Footbridge in Fox Point is getting a financial boost next year to $1.6 million with an extra $525,000 approved in the village's 2013 budget.
The budget had already borrowed $1.1 million for the bridge, but after village staff looked over reports from the project consultant, officials decided to boost that by an additional $525,000, bringing the total to $1,636,269. Residents are still expected to raise $625,000 to fund repair, replacement or removal of the infamous footbridge.
Not everyone thinks the bridge is worth the money, however. Patch reader and Fox Point resident Larry Booth had this to say:
"It's important to note that the $2.26 million cost of this obscure and unnecessary footbridge ($1.6 million in the 2013 budget plus $625,000 in hoped-for private funding which taxpayers will pick up if the funding doesn't come through) doesn't take into account another $460,000 in borrowing costs which brings the total cost to $2,720,000. In a community of just 6,600 residents that is an obscene amount of money to spend on a FOOTBRIDGE that serves no useful purpose!
How about the Village Board apply that $2.7 million to road and sewer repairs and other far more important public projects than a "Footbridge to Nowhere." --Larry Booth, Fox Point resident said.
The bridge between Barnett Lane and Bridge Lane has been closed since last October. At that time, Ayres Associates, an engineering firm hired by the village, had done an inspection looking into the load capacity and safety of the bridge. Ayres said the number of people on the bridge at one time should not exceed eight, and if that number could not be controlled, they suggested it be closed until the footbridge could be repaired or replaced.
The village has spent more than $71,000 on consultants and studies for the bridge project. These consultants have offered up multiple suggestions on rebuilding the bridge with heavy machinery, to coming in from the top of the ravine and avoiding any ecological damage to the area after more than 75 residents attended a board meeting, many voicing their concerns about possible damage.
The private resident group, Footbridge Friends, Inc., will hold another planning meeting Wednesday to discuss the next steps in raising the resident portion, $625,000, for work on the bridge.
For more information about helping Footbridge Friends, Inc,. please contact Barbara Schwartz at 414-446-9501 or via email.