What’s the value in an old steel and wood bridge built only for people? It’s a question we in Minot will soon confront. The Ann Street Bridge, which is also referred to as the Saint Ann’s Bridge, is the rickety-looking structure that takes off from the foot of Main Street and 4th Avenue North. It traverses both river and railroad, and at the other end, it deposits students, pedestrians, and the occasional biker neatly into downtown Minot.
It is a Minot icon that’s marked our landscape for more than a hundred years, but on the eve of constructing Minot’s next pass at flood protection, its future is much in doubt.
Working off of information that there were internal plans to remove the bridge from within the City’s Public Works Department, I reached out to Derek Hackett, the City of Minot’s Public Information Officer, to find out what’s been happening behind the scenes. He provided me with the following statement on the bridge’s future.
There have been discussions on whether or not removing or recasting a new bridge is the most viable option. There are many facets that play into it and no final determination either way has been determined by City Council. As projects in the area such as flood control, NDRC and greenway options progress, it will be looked into in more detail. One thing to note, the Broadway Bridge Project, set to begin in 2017 by the NDDOT and partnered with the City of Minot, will include pedestrian access on that bridge.
Derek Hackett, Public Information Officer, City of Minot
So there you have it, the future of the bridge and its possible removal is being considered by the City. And seeing as it’s our bridge, here on the Minot Voice we’re going to bring that discussion out into the open. As Mr. Hackett noted in the City’s statement, there are many facets that need to be considered. Check out the gallery below for questions in the captions that hint at where this story will be heading in the coming days and weeks. And don’t hesitate to share your thoughts in the comments below.
And a quick note about my bias. I will do my best to bring out the important issues regarding the Ann Street Bridge, but so you understand at the outset, it’s my belief that we should be looking for ways to make the bridge a more relevant piece of Minot’s future. I’m a regular user of the bridge; I see it as a unique part of Minot’s history, and with a bit of TLC, I think it could be a true attraction and point of pride for Minot.