- Associated Press - Monday, June 8, 2015

MINOT, N.D. (AP) - A new Broadway Bridge being planned in Minot will have a cleaner, more aesthetic look, though the final design will depend on what the public wants to see, according to officials designing the structure.

The bridge over the Souris River and BNSF Railway tracks is on the main north-south artery through the city. It’s nearing the end of its lifespan and scheduled to be replaced in 2017 and 2018 at a cost of up to $25 million, funded mostly by state and federal transportation programs, The Minot Daily News reported (http://bit.ly/1IgmW3A ).

The bridge on the five-lane road carries about 30,000 vehicles per day. The southbound portion was built in 1962, and the northbound portion in 1971.

Design features being considered for the new bridge include new lighting, a raised median, decorative railing, and a pedestrian and biking path on the east side. There also could be an overlook from the walkway over the river, according to project manager Jugesh Kapur with Burns & McDonnell, an engineering design company headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri.

“We don’t want it to be an ordinary, concrete mass in your backyard. We want it to be aesthetically pleasing,” Kapur said during a recent meeting held to give the public an opportunity to comment on the bridge plans. “We can design a bridge with just eight piers versus 17 that are out there today. So it will really open up and have park-like space underneath. That becomes an area that the public can use and enjoy.”

An environmental review should be completed by August, and the focus will turn to design.

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