La Crosse, WI (WXOW)-- Whether or not to install bicycle and pedestrian paths on the new I-90 bridge in Dresbach has been a controversial issue. But now, it seems a compromise has been reached.
The bridge, which crosses the Mississippi River, is set for reconstruction in the next few years.
The initial proposal did not include a bicycle and walkway trail, a decision that upset some community groups.
"Our group looks at trying to improve health through physical activity," said Sue Howe of Active Living La Crescent. "And one of those ways to increase your physical activity is to commute and get around through active transportation."
The Minnesota Department of Transportation responded, reexamined the feasibility study and came up with a new solution.
"Based on that study, they are recommending putting support hangers on the bridge to accommodate a future bicycle and pedestrian trail when the time becomes appropriate," said Tom Faella, executive director of the La Crosse Planning Committee.
Local officials and community groups are in agreement about installing the brackets on the new bridge. But down the road, when the path is built there are issues to address, like the impact on the environment.
"The proposed trail goes through the wetlands in the Upper Mississippi Wildlife Refuge, and that's a concern," Faella said. "It's not insurmountable, but certainly something that we'll have to work with the US Fish and Wildlife Service with."
For now, all those involved seem to be satisfied with the new compromise, and agree that eventually those walkways will be installed.
There will be an informational and input meeting about the bridge construction on January 25, from 5 to 8 PM at La Crescent High School. There will also be another meeting about the proposal where members of the public will be allowed to comment.
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