An updated Shakopee plan for a pedestrian bridge that will span Highway 169 includes LED lighting on the structure’s railings and a sign above the highway displaying the city logo.
The city council discussed these proposals — which also include making the bridge’s fencing black and decorating its piers with multi-color stone — at its Jan. 4 meeting.
The bridge’s location is near the FedEx facility, approximately 1.5 miles east of Canterbury Road. The bridge will be just south of Quarry Lake and along the Prior Lake Outlet Channel.
The council received the first bridge recommendations from city staff and WSB & Associates at its Aug. 17 meeting.
Since then, minor revisions made to the aesthetics of the plan have been presented to the council, along with a layout approved by the Minnesota Department of Transportation.
Part of the updated plan is to match the bridge’s aesthetics with other bridges, like the one that spans County Road 69, and with the planned city monument signs that will be installed near Valleyfair and a roundabout on Vierling Drive.
These aesthetic changes now include making the bridge’s fencing black instead of green. A black metal panel will also be added with an official Shakopee logo sign displayed above the highway.
Councilor Angelica Contreras said placing a sign on the bridge is a great way to welcome people into the city.
“I do love the sign … you’re driving right into Shakopee when you see it, so that’s perfect,” Contreras said.
Multi-color stone matching city monument signs will decorate the bridge’s piers and abutments.
LED lighting will also be added to the railings instead of following the original recommendation of installing green, pedestal light poles along the bridge. Graduate engineer Adam Bentson said this would achieve a cleaner and more sleek appearance on the bridge.
Multiple councilors also discussed the possibility of adding concrete ball shapes to the ends of the bridge.
Previous recommendations said the Highway 169 bridge should match the look of Marschall Road’s pedestrian bridge on the east side and the west side bridge currently under construction on Marschall Road.
At the time, this meant the bridge’s chain link fence would instead be green, and a green stripe would be painted along the outer edge of the bridge’s deck.
Bentson said the green chain link fence was no longer available for the contractor to order, so layout changes regarding the fence color had to be made.
With the updated plans in mind, the city now expects to eventually implement the aesthetic and layout to Marschall Road’s east side and west side pedestrian bridges.
Councilor Jody Brennan said she approves of the new aesthetic and layout changes made since August.
“I think this is a much more attractive design than the original one that we saw … this is an entrance into our city, and I think it looks pretty good,” Brennan said.
THE BRIDGE’S PURPOSE
According to the city’s website, the new pedestrian bridge looks to “connect the areas south of Highway 169 to regional destinations north of the highway, such as Quarry Lake, the Minnesota River and the Minnesota Valley State Trail.”
The city also claims the bridge will improve the ability for pedestrian and bicycle transportation as well as connect both the local and regional trail systems around the area.
Trails are located along both the north and south sides of Highway 169, but there is currently no way to cross the highway via these trail facilities.
The city estimates the project cost will be $4,993,000.
The city received $2 million in a state bonding grant managed by Minnesota Management and Budget, according to a Dec. 22 layout document from WSB. The rest of the project costs will be funded by Shakopee’s park development fund.
The meeting memo states that despite multiple aesthetic and layout changes, the finalized plans should still fall within the approved budget.
Mayor Bill Mars said having everything come together with the pedestrian bridge can influence the look of future bridges and represent Shakopee in a positive way.
“Times change, and I know our look and logo and branding have changed,” Mars said. “But trying to tie it all together with the brick, the balls and the logo would really say, ‘Hey, you’re in Shakopee,’ and I think that’s great.”