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Brainerd city officials want to see pedestrian bridge over 210

The city will use $35,000 of its COVID-19 relief funds for a feasibility study for the bridge.

Lum Park sign at dusk.
Vehicle headlights are visible on Highway 210 Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022, from the location of the Lum Park sign in northeast Brainerd.
Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch
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BRAINERD — City officials in Brainerd will explore the idea of a pedestrian bridge over Highway 210/Washington Street that would connect to the Cuyuna Lakes State Trail.

“MnDOT doesn’t seem all that interested in spending their money on a bridge, but I think it’s something we should look into,” said City Council member Gabe Johnson, chair of the council’s Personnel and Finance Committee, on Nov. 21.

Council members agreed at last week’s meeting to use $35,000 of the city’s COVID-19 relief funds from the American Rescue Plan Act to pay for a feasibility study for the bridge. The expense leaves $338,097.57 for other uses in the city, as the council previously allocated $1,095,000 of its relief funds to main street revitalization grants, park projects, capital expenses and heating and cooling equipment at the police station.

As a part of the project oversight team working on the design for the reconstruction of Highway 210/Washington Street in 2026-27, Johnson said the idea is something the team has talked about for a while and wants to explore, even though according to Johnson, the transportation department does not want to include it in the project. The Department of Natural Resources, he said, is interested in the bridge as a trail connection.

Johnson said he would ideally like to see the bridge at Lum Park, but the feasibility study will determine the best location.

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In other business Monday, the council:

Approved the final pay estimate for the Northern Pacific segment of the Cuyuna Lakes State Trail at a cost of $19,291.07. The total cost of the project came in 0.16% over the original estimate but 11.47% under the revised contract amount. The cost was included in the city’s 2022 capital budget.

Approved the final pay estimate for the Greenwood Street reconstruction project at a cost of $83,238.42. Anderson Brothers Construction was able to salvage existing gravel base from the road, bringing the cost of the project down from the original estimate by about 11%. The cost was included in the city’s 2022 capital plan budget.

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Approved a resolution showing support for the Highway Safety Improvement Program grant, which would give the city funding to potentially place a roundabout at the intersection of South Sixth and Willow streets.

Approved a resolution showing support for the Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements grant, which the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is applying for to construct a Highway 371 overpass and interchange at the intersection with Highway 210.

Approved a new agreement with Severson Porter for legal services for 2023, 2024 and 2025. The fee for 2023 services is $220,000, which is an 11% increase over 2022. The cost will be incorporated into the 2023 budget.

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THERESA BOURKE may be reached at theresa.bourke@brainerddispatch.com or 218-855-5860. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/DispatchTheresa .

Theresa Bourke started working at the Dispatch in July 2018, covering Brainerd city government and area education, including Brainerd Public Schools and Central Lakes College.
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