For the last three years Friends of the Rail Bridge has been fighting to keep the historic Bismarck-Mandan bridge from demolition.
Today the group held an event at Keel Boat park in Bismarck to inform the public of what’s next.
The nonprofit hired NDSU Landscape architecture to put together a feasibility study to turn the bridge into a walking trail.
But due to the 60 to 90 million dollars BNSF says would be needed for a new bridge and the old bridge to co-exist, one board member says no one wanted to partner with the group’s efforts.
On Friday, Governor Doug Burgum announced his support to keep the bridge, possibly using pandemic funding to cover costs of upkeep.
“The governor mentioned in his public statement that there are COVID-19 funds possibly for tourism and reinvigorating our community,” FORB Board Member Margie Zalk Enerson said. “People in the state and all across the United States will be able to use this to get our economies going. “
An environmental impact statement is expected to come out next month regarding the effects of demolition. Friends of the Rail Bridge say they have until April 2022 to find a public partner for funding.