The Bridge Lane Ravine Footbridge has generated a lot of debate and discussion among many Fox Point residents since its closure in October 2010. While with the Village Board,
But one question both sides are asking: What has the village spent on the multiple reports that have completed on the bridge?
According to Village Manager Susan Robertson, to date, the village has spent $71,105 on reports and updates from two structural engineering firms on the bridge.
In April 2009, the board hired GRAEF-USA Inc.,which warned deterioration of the bridge had reached a point where it was no longer safe to carry more than eight people at a time. In response, the village posted "no loitering" signs at either end of the span.
GRAEF was consulted again in 2010 after reports that a gathering estimated at 80 people had been seen holding a candlelight vigil on the bridge. GRAEF recommended that if the village could not control the numbers of people on the bridge, the bridge should be closed.
The village has paid GRAEF $33,332 for its consulting work.
Since its closure, there have been a total of five additional reports completed by both GRAEF and Ayres Associates, another structural engineering firm. Ayres has been paid $37,773.
Robertson said other funds have been spent on reviewing the footbridge as well, however, those funds are part of the biennial bridge inspections that are done regularly all over the village.
"That’s a routine thing we do for all our bridges," she said. "That would be considered maintenance as opposed to a capital project."
The board received a report Tuesday from a representative of Ayers that outlines possibilities for restoring, rehabilitating or replacing the bridge. However, the board took no action on the issue.
Trustees will revisit the bridge issue at their next board meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. on Dec. 13.