Como Park pedestrian bridge work postponed

The pedestrian bridge will be restored to its Classic Revival architectural style. (Photo courtesy of the City of St. Paul)

The same phenomenon affecting public works projects across the metropolitan area has delayed the restoration of the historic footbridge in Como Regional Park.

It was originally thought that the bridge, which lies just northeast of the Horton Avenue and Lexington Parkway intersection, would be well along in the renovation process by now, but no work will be done this year.

“We have plans and specifications ready, but the current bidding climate is very poor,” said Don Varney, a landscape architect with the City of St. Paul’s Parks and Recreation Department and the project manager.

The improving economy, a shortened construction season because of a wet spring and other factors have left contractors with plenty of work and cities seeing either a lack of interest in projects or bids much higher than anticipated.

“We will bid the project for construction in the spring of 2014 and have more contractors available to seriously consider bidding on the work,” Varney said. “The details of the project scope remain the same.”

The footbridge near the Historic Streetcar Station once formed a main entrance to Como Park but was reduced to little more than a ruin over time. A combination of Federal Highway Administration funding and city bonding will be used for the $1.1 million restoration.

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