No need to replace bridge

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Council sets Diamond Drive arrangements

By Mandy Marksteiner

At Councilor Michael Wheeler’s request, Public Works Director Kyle Zimmerman researched several design concepts for the pedestrian bridges on Diamond Drive. He presented his findings to the council and asked for approval to submit a pedestrian replacement project with the next set of Phase 1 Capital Improvement Projects.

Zimmerman’s examples included designs that complied with the American Disability Act requirements and ranged in price from $2.5-3 million, depending on whether they used a ramp or an elevator and the complexity of the design.  

In his traffic study, Zimmerman explained that the existing galvanized steel overpasses located by the Dwayne Smith Auditorium and Griffith Gym are frequently used by the high school sports teams and marching bands. They were originally built in the 50s and were rehabilitated in 1990.  

To meet the ADA requirements, the ramp must have a slope of 20 feet horizontal to 1 foot vertical, which would create a ramp length of 400 feet.

“Those ramps seem like a long way, even in a wheelchair,” Councilor Nona Bowman said.

Because of the high cost, Councilor Robert Gibson moved to cease further consideration of a replacement overpass, and the motion was passed 6-0.

“I don’t see the need here,” Gibson said. “The existing overpasses were built in the ‘good old days’ to be bullet proof, truck proof and kid proof.  We could try to meet the ADA requirements but it’s close enough to the cross walk that it would be easier than going up a ramp.”

“Trinity Drive is where we have pedestrian crossing issues,” said Wheeler, who added that the county will probably consider signalized intersections on Trinity.

Phase 5 of Diamond Drive begins May 1

Paul Parker Construction won the bid for Phase 5 of the Diamond Drive Project. Don Hauser will be the project manager.

The work will take place on Trinity Drive, Canyon and the Omega Bridge between May 1 and Sept. 30. They will replace and rehabilitate water lines and other utilities.  

“We’re going to try to avoid digging up the road,” said James Alarid, the deputy utilities manager for the project. “All the crossings will have to be done after hours or on the weekends.  There will always be at least two lanes open.”

Councilor Bowman suggested that he make an attempt to contact the people who live near the crossings where work will be done on the weekend.

According to Alarid, the bids were as low as they’ve ever been, and three of the bids were below

$1 million.

Wheeler said, “I’m pleased that a local contractor won this bid.”