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Pedestrian Bridge; Repair or Replace?

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I live in a small (pop 3,000) suburban (to Nashville) commmunity in Tennessee, where one of the unique features is a Civil War era bridge saved from destruction 15 to 20 years ago when the Department of Transportation built a modern bridge next to it. It was used as a pedestrian bridge, connecting two City parks on each bank of the beautiful Harpeth river.


Now the bridge has deteriorated to the point where it has been closed to pedestrian traffic. Preliminary estimates to rehab it are as much as $750,000. The City can't afford that right now, as they are heavily investing in several other, worthy community building projects.

The questions are:

> Should the City save it? And if so, are there grants or programs available to help?

> Should the City replace it? How much would a pedestrian bridge cost? It is maybe, 300' long and 40' above the river.

I have seen pictures of a beautiful ped bridge in Greeneville SC. Does anyone know what it cost? Are there other examples of attractive, affordable structures?

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My city recently held a referendum for establishing a city sales tax of 1/2% and will use the money raised to replace, repair, and re-vamp city park infrastructure. The referendum passed overwhelmingly.

But the city should definitely try to retain it's heritage. Especially a civil war era bridge. There isn't a lot in this country that remains from the mid 19th century.

It could raise taxes enough to raise the funds and then drop the tax. Or I'm sure there could be a community effort to save it. My city is currently doing that to re-vamp a statue and after only 3 months we're 50% there.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Chattanooga saved one of their historic bridges in the early-1990s and turned it into a pedestrian bridge. Currently, it is one of the largest (if not the largest) pedestrian bridges in the country. I'm not sure how the money was raised, but the bridge has definitely become a major amenity to downtown development.

River City Co. is a development company that is heavily invested in Chattanooga. They would love to answer questions if you have any.

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The bridge has historical value, so that certainly means something.

I'd say it depends on the usage of the bridge by pedestrians. If it doesn't receive much use, then historical value is the only thing it has going for it.

We had a pedestrian bridge connecting two neighborhoods that were split by the construction of an interstate 40 years ago. The time came for reconstruction because the bridge was falling apart. The choice was made to tear it down because although it received moderate usage when it was first built, hardly anyone, except for grafitti artists, ever ventured across it.

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