Costs are starting to mount for a proposed pedestrian bridge that crosses over BNSF railroad tracks in St. Louis Park, Minn.
City council members approved the design for the Dakota Avenue bikeway last year, but then it was estimated to cost $8.24 million. Now the project is expected to cost $9.1 million.
The main reason for the increase is due to poor, contaminated soils that have plagued projects in St. Louis Park in the past. Testing done on the soil associated with the jobsite has indicated that there are large areas of unsuitable soils. Steel piling would be needed to support the bridge, which is expected to cost $625,000. Officials expected that contaminated soils would be a problem, but their estimate was set at $335,000.
More money also will be needed for excavation to allow for flood storage, stairs on the south and north side of the bridge, and for proposed stainless steel art on the bridge. The stainless steel art will require bigger concrete piers to accommodate needed anchoring. The new estimate also includes a cost for tree replacement.
City council members suggested eliminating stairs on the north end of the bridge to reduce the overall cost. The increase in the cost of stairs is due to poor soil conditions.
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