Tuesday, August 07, 2007

What's Next * I35W

An interesting discussion is brewing in the Minnesota Politics discussion forum. Interim Forum manager Tim Erickson started it off:
I think that we'll all agree, that safety and stability are of the utmost concern for a new bridge. BUT, what about design/appearance? What about additional functionality (light rail, bikes, or pedestrians)? More lanes or less? Should we hurry up and get this done as quickly as possible, or would we rather take time to really "redesign" this bridge and make sure that we get it RIGHT (again, I'm speaking of design)?

What is your vision for the future of the I-35W bridge???
Cost is, of course, a factor. The recent 250 Million passed, and signed by the President, is at the ready. But what can we build for that. One option was brought up in the forum, and it is a beaut. The Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge (Wiki, Structurae) was completed in 2005.
The Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge is a cable-stayed bridge that carries eight lanes of the Interstate 93 and U.S. Route 1 concurrency, plus a two lane access ramp, across the Charles River in Boston, Massachusetts.
And as important:
The bridge is now a major landmark and has been featured in several films recently including the 2005 version of War of the Worlds and Martin Scorsese's The Departed and often serves as a backdrop for interviews.
I know we want to see this primary artery restored as soon as possible but I certainly hope we make some lemonade here and look at all the various factors involved replacing this structure. From form to functionality. We have an opportunity to honor those lost, those saved, and those who stepped up in true Minnesota Spirit. And before you think that a bridge like this is cost prohibitive, remember that $250 million that was just passed. I mentioned the Bunker Hill bridge was completed in 2005, the cost . . . $115 Million. It can be done sensibly and responsibly. Lets hope that happens.

What do you think, A premature discussion, or an opportune time to make sure we consider all the parameters of a new bridge?


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