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Efforts to build pedestrian, bicycle bridge near Bluestem Amphitheater progressing

Fargo and Moorhead are working on splitting costs for the project spanning the Red River.

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MOORHEAD — Work is progressing on a high-clearance pedestrian and bicycle bridge over the Red River connecting south Fargo and the Bluestem Amphitheater in south Moorhead.

The Moorhead City Council this week approved splitting the cost of a $128,000 environmental study needed before work could begin on the 800-foot long, 15-foot wide bridge and connecting cement pathways.

Moorhead and Fargo are both seeking federal or state funds to help with construction of the bridge that would be built to rise above any flood below 37 feet. That is the maximum flood level when the Fargo-Moorhead Diversion is completed, making it unlike other current pedestrian bridges that have to be lifted when floods arrive.

The bridge would connect with the share-use pathway at 40th Avenue South at University Drive in Fargo and a current pathway at 50th Avenue Southwest in Moorhead.

The cost is estimated between $3.9 million and $5.5 million, including the bridge and 460 added feet of concrete pathway on the Fargo side and 1,273 feet on the Moorhead side.

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The bridge has been in the Moorhead River Corridor Plan since 2014. A study found the bridge is one of the major gaps in the metrowide system.

Fargo transportation engineer Jeremy Gordon said Fargo is planning to approve its cost share for the environmental study. Once the study is done, Gordon said it would make it much easier to get a design and bid for the project.

"We don't have enough crossings for pedestrians or vehicles the way it is across the river now," Gordon said. "So anytime we can work together with Moorhead or Clay County is a good thing."

He said they don't yet have a timeframe for the project as it depends upon federal or state money, but there's a possibility it could get done next year.

The cities would also work with the Trollwood Performing Arts School and the Army Corps of Engineers on the project.

An almost 50-year veteran of the newspaper business, Amundson has worked for The Forum and Forum News Service for 15 years. He started as a sport reporter in Minnesota. He is currently the city and night reporter for The Forum. bamundson@forumcomm.com 701-451-5665
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