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Clintonville to close pedestrian bridge

Rehab cost estimated at $75,000

By Bert Lehman

The pedestrian bridge over the Pigeon River near the Clintonville Community Center is being closed to the public due to safety concerns about its deterioration.

The decision to close the bridge was made after the city’s Streets Committee discussed the condition of the bridge at its July 5 meeting.

“The walking bridge, it is in need of repair,” Clintonville Public Works Director Kray Brown told members of the committee.

Brown shared information received from Norcon Corporation out of Schofield, as to the condition of the bridge. Norcon is the same company that fixed the Ninth Street sidewalk issue in the city.

Brown said Norcon estimated it would cost $75,000 to rehab the pedestrian bridge.

Committee member Steve Kettenhoven asked how much it would cost to remove the bridge. Brown did not have that figure.

“We have a brand new Main Street bridge that is around 100 feet away, 150 feet away, and I just don’t see spending $75,000 to repair something that folks can walk 100 feet to get across the river,” Kettenhoven said.

Brown said whether the city decides to rehab the bridge or remove it, something needs to be done soon.

“I’ve been trying to monitor it as much as possible,” Brown said. “It is at a point we’re going to have to look at either shutting it down totally or doing something with it.”

Committee Chairman Jim Supanich said he leaned toward closing the bridge.

“We can’t repair a bridge when people can walk 100 feet down, and not repair roads,” Supanich said, referring to the deteriorating streets in the city.

Committee member Lance Bagstad agreed.

“Nobody’s called me about the walking bridge,” Bagstad said. “People have called me about potholes on the streets. So there would be no way I could support $75,000 to fix a bridge that I don’t know how often is used.”

Clintonville City Administrator Sharon Eveland told the committee it was her recommendation that the bridge should be closed because of safety concerns.

“I see a lot of kids out there fishing from it, and that’s the first thing I think of and I’m concerned with,” Eveland said.

Bagstad said closing the bridge is the only option.

“I think after this discussion we need to shut it down tomorrow,” Bagstad said. “We basically just stated we’re concerned about the fence along the side of it. We now basically stated that there is a potential liability.”

The committee decided to post signs that the bridge is closed and also asked Brown to obtain a cost estimate as to what it would cost to remove the pedestrian bridge.

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