BAXTER — The Baxter City Council voted Tuesday to remove the steel Cypress Drive pedestrian bridge and replace it with a berm and culvert at a cost of about $23,000.
The council rejected a recommendation made by the Parks and Recreation Commission to go with a more than 8 percent grade trail connection with handrails — required because any grade larger than 5 percent requires handrails for Americans with Disability Act mandates — at a cost of about $28,300. A third option, to install abutments in order to reuse the bridge correctly, would cost $45,200.
Council member Todd Holman said he respected the work of the commission but felt that a lower grade supported more of a mixed user group in this area of the trail, between Cypress Drive and the Paul Bunyan Trail. The gradual incline would allow for inline skaters to slow down before reaching Cypress Drive and the handrails could be a road hazard for snowmobilers.
Construction will begin this spring. The proposed project would be paid for with funds supplied by the park dedication fund.
The council also voted to sell the steel bridge in the spring. Council member Jim Klein said the city already had two interested buyers.
The bridge used to be located at the former golf course. It was donated to the city in 2006 from the former developer of the former golf course.
In other council news, the council accepted the Baxter Lions donation of $3,270.18 to purchase disc golf baskets to be used to create a disc golf course within Baxter. The Parks and Recreation Commission members believe Whipple Beach Park may be the best location for a new disc golf course, but there were concerns at the Nov. 28 commission meeting about parking.
In a council workshop before Tuesday’s meeting, council members asked staff to develop a proposal for a traffic study in the vicinity of the proposed Costco/Home Depot/Walmart area.
JODIE TWEED can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5858.