Mayowood bridge design unveiled - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Mayowood bridge design unveiled

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- It's been about seven years since anyone has been allowed on the Mayowood bridge, but now with new funding that could change.

The bridge was closed back in 2006 because of structural deficiencies, but Tuesday, community members gathered to give input on a new bridge design.

The new structure would be completed by 2014 and its $4 million estimated cost would be paid for, in part, by state funding, but for those in the neighborhood, it's not the cost that's the issue.

Those who live along the Mayowood bridge will tell you things have changed since 2006.

"The peace and quiet there is so great," said Rita Mayo who lives in neighborhood.

Now that the county has secured funding to repair the nearly 80-year old structure, neighbors are aware that it won't be like that much longer.

"It will change, but if we have to have a road, I'm glad it's no bigger than what they've got right now," Mayo said.

Yes, the question of "if" was discussed at the meeting. While many neighbors say they enjoyed the quiet of living on a dead end road for the past few years, Olmsted county officials say as the area grows, that just isn't feasible. 

"We wanted to stress the importance of having that connectivity for ingress and egress for the neighborhood for emergency vehicles and school buses, garbage trucks, that type of thing," said Jim Bier, Olmsted County Board Chair. "But we also are cognizant that we want to have a bridge that fits in with the character of this area."

They believe that's what the current design does, but neighbors pointed out one large exception.

"Of course we've got to live with the new laws so it has to be wide enough for traffic," Bier said.

The current structure is about 24 feet wide, and the new one would be 44 feet to accommodate wider lanes, four foot shoulders and a pedestrian path -- all things the bridge needs to receive state funding. 

While many had concerns about the size, they were pleased that the bridge looked much like the original one. 
"It's beautiful. It's really a work of art. It shouldn't be spoiled. [Dr. Charlie] gave it to the county and I think they should honor the gift by keeping it very much the same way," Mayo said.
Neighbors also expressed concern about keeping the wrought iron railing, and how the new structure will manage floodwaters in the area among other issues.
While officials say the design is mostly complete, they will look into suggestions they received at Tuesday's meeting. 
The design must be finished by the end of 2013 to get part of the state funding.

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