Pedestrian bridge taking form in Austin
By Tim Ruzek
The Post-Bulletin, Austin MN
Bicyclists, walkers, joggers and others seeking to enjoy Austin's trail system soon will have a new route over the Cedar River.
On Tuesday, crews placed the first section of a new pedestrian bridge near Fourth Street Southeast's Roosevelt Bridge.
Early June is the projected time for opening the bridge to the public, Austin City Engineer Jon Erichson said.
Preliminary work started last fall at the site, where piers from the former Chicago Great Western Railroad bridge have been refurbished to be used for connecting the city pedestrian trail with an existing trail south of the river. The railway corridor was vacated several decades ago.
In August, the Austin City Council approved a nearly $376,000 project for the pedestrian bridge, with a federal grant covering about 60 percent of the cost. The Hormel Foundation also contributed $49,400, and the city planned to cover about $90,000.
City officials have said the foot bridge will improve pedestrian safety by giving a safer option than the arched Roosevelt Bridge to cross the river. A paved city trail runs along the river's north side and under Roosevelt Bridge.