Steel rebar shows through at the widest divot while a circa 2006 patch gleams behind.
There's even a hole at one seam-- almost big enough to drop a deck of cards through.
photo by Hawes Spencer
Fire engines, school buses, and even 18-wheel trucks routinely
rumble over the east side of the Belmont Bridge. But not
Since November, east side walkers have been temporarily banned,
forced by a chain-link fence to traverse four- to five-lane Avon
Street if they wish to cross the bridge, the main southern gateway
to downtown. And with an April 4 vote, a City Council majority has
decided to spend nearly $15,000 building a permanent barrier to
block pedestrians. A Hook investigation, however, finds
that Council wasn't given information that might have altered the
Several times, beginning last fall, City planning director Jim
Tolbert has appeared before the City Council to say that fixing the
closed sidewalk would cost over $300,000. But what about fixing
what's already there?
Bob Fenwick, a
professional contractor and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers veteran
who's making a second run for a seat on Council, contends that
patching the sidewalk makes far better sense.
"We don't have money to throw around," says Fenwick. "If that
bridge is strong enough for the vibration and load of heavy trucks,
then it should be strong enough for a person. Or several
A reporter found that City officials have abandoned the idea of
patching. Neither of the two proposals the City recently obtained
shows any sign of considering repair, only replacement.
For instance, an...