Brainerd Council receives estimate for Highway 210 pedestrian bridge

The bridge could potentially be built along with the 2026 reconstruction of Highway 210/Washington Street.

vehicles driving on the road.
Vehicles move along Highway 210 on Wednesday, May 3, 2023, in Brainerd. The multiuse trail near Lum Park in northeast Brainerd could potentially connect to a pedestrian bridge across Highway 210 in the future.
Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch

BRAINERD — The preliminary estimate for a pedestrian bridge over Highway 210 in northeast Brainerd is north of $5 million.

If built, the bridge would serve as a connection for the Cuyuna Lakes State Trail near Lum Park.

City officials authorized $34,585.30 in COVID-19 relief funds earlier this year to be used for a feasibility study for the bridge. Casey Black, of SRF Consulting Group in Minneapolis, presented the findings of that study to the Brainerd City Council Monday, May 1.

Future trail improvements are already planned as part of larger projects along highways 25 and 210. The bridge would connect these improvements to Lum Park via the bridge near the entrance of the park, with the trail extending along Highway 210 and 10th Avenue Northeast.


Two approach ramps would be necessary north and south of the main bridge span over the highway.


The south approach would be a primarily straight ramp with a 20-foot horizontal curve located near the connection with the bridge. That land is located on private property outside of the public right-of-way. Part of that ramp would have to be located within a wetland area, work would be done to minimize the environmental impacts there.

The north approach would be structured similarly, with a straight ramp and a 20-foot horizontal curve near the main span of the bridge, but it would also include a 40-foot horizontal curve near the at-grade trail connection. This segment is located entirely within Lum Park and does not impact any known wetland, but the alignment parallels an existing overhead powerline and crosses over buried water and sewer utilities.

Pedestrian bridge.JPG
Design rendering from SRF Consulting Group shows a proposed pedestrian bridge, in orange, spanning Highway 210 near Lum Park in northeast Brainerd. The blue lines are the bridge approaches.

The approaches would be constructed with a combination of precast concrete beams and cast-in-place concrete slabs.

For the main span of the bridge over Highway 210, the feasibility report states that a pier — a support structure extending from below the bridge to the ground — is not desirable, as it would be considered a roadway hazard. For that reason, options for a bridge that could span the highway without a pier are the ideal option.

vehicles driving on the road.
Vehicles move along Highway 210 in east Brainerd on Wednesday, May 3, 2023.
Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch

South of the highway is an open ditch, and north is an overhead powerline. There are limited single-span structure types available that can span the ditch and highway while limiting utility impacts. The structure most suited, according to the study, is a prefabricated steel truss that would be supported by two primary piers on the approaches.

The construction would require some amount of adjustment and/or relocation of utilities in the area, depending on the design chosen.

Cost estimate

The rough cost presented in the study is based on assumed estimated quantities and square foot areas and on average bid prices from recent Minnesota Department of Transportation projects.

The estimates are as follows:


  • At-grade trails and stream crossing — $500,000.
  • Bridge approach ramps and main span — $4 million.
  • Concrete textures, color systems and anti-graffiti coating — $25,000.
  • Customized ornamental metal railing — $100,000.
  • Pedestrian-level lighting — $200,000.
  • Structure accent lighting — $100,000.
  • Water main casing and/or modification — $115,000.
  • Storm sewer modification — $70,000.

Contingencies and inflation would also have to be built into the budget, as the prices are estimated in 2023 dollars.

vehicles driving on the road.
Vehicles travel along Highway 210 Wednesday, May 3, 2023, in east Brainerd. A trail upgrade is anticipated with the Highway 210/Washington Street reconstruction slated for 2026. A mix of state and federal funds could be available for the potential pedestrian bridge project.
Kelly Humphrey / Brainerd Dispatch

Other potential costs not figured in include:

  • Private property acquisition.
  • Design engineering, which usually ranges from 10-12% of the construction costs for a typical federal aid project.
  • Construction administration and material testing, which usually ranges from 8-10% of construction costs.

Funding options

A mix of state and federal funds could be available for the project through entities and programs like the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the DNR and the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources.

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Black said his team at SRF is working with staff to determine which grants are most appropriate for applications.

Next steps

If city officials submit grant applications this year, funding awards could be announced as early as later this year or next year, depending on the program.

While funding is in the works, the city council could initiate early stages of agency agreements and private land acquisition in preparation for the project.

If everything is lined up properly, the project could occur alongside the Highway 210/Washington Street reconstruction planned for 2026.


THERESA BOURKE may be reached at or 218-855-5860. Follow her on Twitter at .

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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