Study: Converting railroad bridge feasible but expensive

Local News

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A study finds that converting a historic North Dakota railroad bridge into a pedestrian bridge can be done but it would be expensive.

Landscape architecture professors at North Dakota State University looked at repurposing the Bismarck-Mandan Rail Bridge as a footbridge. The Bismarck Tribune reports the report concluded that would cost almost $6.9 million.

Proponents of saving the structure acknowledge that they don’t yet have any funding commitments.

Bridge owner BNSF Railway maintains that converting the 136-year-old bridge — rather than demolishing it — would delay a needed new bridge and also cause safety concerns.

The bridge over the Missouri River connects Bismarck and Mandan. Friends of the Rail Bridge is proposing to convert the bridge into a pedestrian and bicycle path.

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