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Posted to City Manager's Blog by Melinda Mayo
What exactly does it take to get a bridge built? Later this week we will be celebrating the opening of the new Franklin Road Bridge and I thought I would offer some insights into all that goes into getting such a thing constructed.
Engineering and Design, Making It Ours
Paying for It
As you can imagine, costs to design and build a bridge have increased a bit since 1936! The cost of the new bridge was slightly more than $14 million to construct. The bridge used a variety of sources of funding, including State and local funds. The majority of the cost is funded by debt issued by the City of Roanoke, which will be paid off over the ensuing decades. Most large construction projects in the City use similar methods of funding. The next bridge to be replaced—the Main Street Bridge in the Wasena neighborhood—is projected to cost at least $22 million. It’s a good thing we need only replace such structures every 80 or so years!
It’s been a hassle, construction always is. The old bridge may be missed by some, but the new bridge will carry traffic right up to the next century, and it will do so in a way that adds aesthetically to the surrounding neighborhoods and compliments the beauty of the surrounding mountains. Everyone’s patience and hard work has been appreciated. Now it’s time to cut a ribbon and get traffic flowing again!
-- Bob Cowell
Posted to Roanoke Recap by Melinda Mayo
Published twice a month, Roanoke Recap is a blog to keep citizens informed about recent city news, events, and announcements. If you are reading this blog for the first time and wish to receive an email notification when a new blog is posted, please contact the Office of Communications at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kiwanis to Gift Playground to City of Roanoke
At the March 18 City Council meeting, the Kiwanis Club of Roanoke gave an overview to City Council of their plans for Centennial Playground—their proposed project in the Melrose-Orange Target Area, adjacent to the Goodwill Campus on Melrose Avenue. The club wants to partner with other organizations and neighbors to create a gathering place for all ages. Kiwanis’ goal is to raise $400,000 for the equipment and land preparation, and will also apply for CDBG grant funds to help with costs. The project will include play equipment to accommodate physically challenged children, as well as exercise equipment for adults and teenagers. Kiwanis will gift the playground to the city. The projected opening of the playground is in June 2020. Click here to see the design concept posted on the Kiwanis Club’s Facebook page.
New Franklin Road Bridge Opens
The City of Roanoke held a ribbon-cutting/dedication ceremony on March 22 for the new Franklin Road Bridge (see photo below). Public art is also part of the new bridge, with works showing the rich history of the Old Southwest neighborhood displayed on the columns of the bridge. Old Southwest Inc. played a major role in helping secure a neighborhood grant for the art, and participated in selecting the artist for this work. The bridge is now open to serve the 9,600 motorists, along with many pedestrians and cyclists, who used alternative routes since its closure in January of 2017. Click here to see a video of the new bridge posted on Roanoke Valley Television's Facebook page.
‘Global Harmony’ to Complete Commemoration of Public Art Anniversary
The City of Roanoke will dedicate a new sculpture at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, March 27, in Entranceway Park at the corner of Williamson Road and Wells Avenue. “Global Harmony” (see artist rendering below) by Stephen Fairfield of St. David, Ariz., is the latest addition to the city's Public Art collection. The dedication of “Global Harmony” will end a year-long commemoration, "Ten Years of Public Art," organized by the Roanoke Arts Commission. Learn about the anniversary of Public Art here.
City to Host Public Works Jobs Fair
The City of Roanoke will host a Public Works Jobs Fair on Wednesday, March 27, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Public Works Service Center, located at 1802 Courtland Rd. (behind Berglund Auto Group). The event will be free and open to the public. City department divisions participating in the Jobs Fair will include Parks, Fleet, General Services, Stormwater, Transportation, and Solid Waste. Through this event, the city hopes to increase visibility in the community and diversify the workforce by providing an opportunity to people from various backgrounds with diverse skill sets to gain employment. See more details here.