By Mel LeBaron
BRODHEAD – Meeting in regular session July 13, members of the Brodhead Common Council gave the green light for the Pearl Island committee to sign a contract with Dimension IV of Madison to move forward to create construction documents for a covered bridge over the Mill Race at Putnam Park.
Jerry Elmer, member of the Pearl Island team, explained that Dimension IV will create a set of plans and then open the bidding process. This is the same firm the city contracted when building the new library.
Elmer explained that because of funding needs, constructions will be broken into two phases, with phase one involving the installation of the footings, and phase two the completion of the structure.
According to Elmer, the committee has received adequate funding to install the footings on the future covered bridge with no cost to the city, partially due to the generous donation from the Brodhead Foundation.
“We got the design and engineering done,” Elmer stated. “It can be put into construction documents and it can actually be built now… We are just sitting here waiting to see what we can do next.”
Elmer continued to explain a few cost estimations of putting up the steel, wooden clad covered bridge, which spans 150 feet across Brodhead’s Mill Race. Steel alone will cost about $150,000. The rough estimate for the total project is currently around $450,000.
Elmer noted that the estimated total could fluctuate once the committee engages with contract signing as they get closer to putting up the actual bridge. The council motioned to give permission for the committee to seek out a contract to continue the bridge project.
In other business, library director Nikki Busch gave her usual report, pointing out that for some reason, there has been an 18 percent increase of people checking out material from this same time period as last year.
When asked why by, she enthusiastically responded, “I think it is just because we are awesome!”