At Wednesday’s regularly scheduled Public Works Committee meeting, Alderman Straight — responding to public comment — brought forward a proposal to amend the Phase 1 flood protection design plans to add a pedestrian opening into the wet-side green-way area at Main Street, near to the Ann Street Bridge.
The discussion on the issue went on for more than fifty minutes before a second opening was ultimately recommended by the Committee and advanced to the full council. Voting in support of the motion to add an opening at the Ann Street Bridge were Alderman Straight, Podrygula, Jantzer, and Berg. Voting against the additional opening were Alderman Schuler and Shomento
Video on the discussion is included, but highlighted below are the main arguments both in favor and against the opening.
In Favor of the Adding an Opening at the Ann Street Bridge
Alderman Straight’s reason for bringing the issue forward, public comment that has come forward requesting the opening and the need to maintain access to downtown in light of plans for a new downtown gathering space that’s a part of the NDRC grant. His presented an alternative that included a smaller pedestrian opening at Broadway to accommodate for a small opening near the Ann Street Bridge.
That pedestrian bridge, in my opinion, is incredibly important. It has historical significance for the City. It’s a part of our history, the sense of place that Minot has, the sense of place that the railroad plays in the community. And this is why I think this opening is important.
— Alderman Straight, 21:43
In Favor of Maintaining the Current Design without the Ann Street Bridge opening
Public Works Director Dan Jonasson spoke on the reasoning behind the current plans and why the single opening near Broadway was the only one included in the design. This discussion starts at 26:30 mark.
When I look at it, I weigh the option, is putting another opening in here, another closure structure, that to me it affects the integrity of the flood wall and life and safety. And that is our goal in flood protection, it’s life and safety, first and foremost.
Public Works Director Dan Jonasson
On the Future of the Ann Street Bridge in General
Also part of the discussion was the state of the bridge and it’s future in general. That discussion starts at 55:00. Much of the discussion centered around challenges with ADA requirements.
If the video does not display automatically, the link below will open it in a new tab.
Public Comment Was in Favor of an Ann Street Bridge Opening
Last November, when the plans were at the 30% designed phase, a public input meeting was held for the neighborhood at McKinley school. Included below are the public comments from that meeting which were largely in favor of updating the design to include an opening near the walking bridges.