I'm all about preserving our past, protecting some areas that provide so much history and valuable memories. That is becoming a big issue out here in Bismarck, what to do with the Rail Bridge. According to KFYRTV, Burlington Northern Santa Fe owns the rail bridge between Bismarck and Mandan and is set to construct a new river crossing. There are many people who want to maintain the old bridge. Yesterday the Friends of the Rail Bridge were hoping that Burleigh County Commission would join together in an attempt to rally up some money from North Dakota Insurance Reserve Fund. The DREAM is for the Friends to keep alive the history and charm of what the Rail Bridge means to Bismarck. The REALITY - Burleigh commissioners were concerned about liability, cost, and supporting the request when the other municipalities passed.

    “I love the idea of another recreation place and not demolishing something, I mean how many people have senior pictures or family pictures in front of that bridge or having that there,” said Commissioner Becky Matthews. So what will happen next? That is the burning question. One of the ideas being discussed is to convert the old bridge to a pedestrian walkway. “I have seen a number of the Rails to Trails in other areas, and ultimately they are a good thing for the community,” said Commissioner Brian Bitner. Commissioners also argued in favor of the partnership because other entities would be forced to eventually support the project for it to get off the ground.

Only time will tell the fate of the Rail Bridge, for really it's out of our hands now - the US Coast Guard has the final say in the status of the rail bridge -Why is that you ask? Here is what I found - According to FriendsoftherailbridgeThe US Coast Guard is the governing authority in charge of navigable waterways. It is, therefore the lead federal agency in charge of reviewing and issuing permits for construction projects that affect that waterway - in this case our beloved Missouri River.  All we can do now is hope for the best.

 


 

 

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