A historic bridge in Minot is temporarily out of service.
The bridge closed earlier this year for the ongoing flood protection construction. The city put signs at the entrances to stop people from walking on it, but people keep moving them.
“We see people going around our barriers. They are sharing public input with us. That is not the traditional input that we typically take and ask for it, but there are messages being sent in these actions, and I think it would be prudent for us to acknowledge them,” said Josh Wolsky, Minot Alderman.
An engineer gave a presentation Monday night to show the city council the bridge’s deteriorating conditions. To fix it, it would cost around $1.6 million and take six years.
The completion of the flood protection project will help the city make a decision on what to do.
“I don’t see the common sense to invest in it at this point to just be told maybe two years, maybe six months after the project is done to say ‘hey guys, you gotta tear it down. You guys gotta raise it up’ and all that work is sunk cost at that point.,” said Paul Pitner, Minot Alderman.
When you’re walking on the bridge, one of the problems you’re going to run into is loose boards, another thing you’re gonna find, is rotting and missing wood.
“My adult friends used it last summer to go across to one of the pub walks, that’s how I knew how bad it was even recently,” said Joey Mahnke Minot resident.
The bridge allows easy access to downtown, but safety is the city’s number one priority.
“I wouldn’t let my kids walk on that bridge. I wouldn’t walk on that bridge. If I bought a house with a deck like that, I mean, would you really feel comfortable? It would be one of the first things I’d pull off,” Pitner added.
Right now, the city cannot simply tear it down and build a new one because it would have to get approval from the railroad first. The bridge goes over the Mouse river and the Great Northern Railyard.
And the city doesn’t want to risk losing this historic bridge.
The bridge could be closed for up to 9 years depending on how long all the flood projects take. So, if you’re used to taking this bridge, there are two others within five blocks, The Broadway Bridge and 3rd street bridge.