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Marble Falls EDC takes step toward pedestrian bridge linking parks

Proposed bridge linking Johnson and Lakeside parks in Marble Falls

Marble Falls Economic Development Corp. directors approved a $194,000 agreement for schematic designs and other engineering elements for a proposed pedestrian bridge linking Johnson and Lakeside parks. Courtesy image

The Marble Falls Economic Development Corp. is continuing to initiate park improvements across the city, including linking two popular ones by a bridge.

During a meeting Wednesday, April 6, EDC directors approved entering a professional services agreement with Stantec for design services related to constructing a pedestrian bridge connecting Johnson and Lakeside parks. 

Stantec is the same engineering services company working with the EDC to complete Lakeside Park Phase 1B work, which includes improvements to the old powerhouse structure on Lake Marble Falls, a connecting boardwalk, and a walking trail extension. The bridge is part of Phase 1C of the city’s Parks Development Plan. 

The $194,000 agreement will cover costs associated with schematic designs, a design development package, construction documents, and other necessary documents pertaining to designs and engineering for the pedestrian bridge as well as a proposed 6-foot-wide paved trail that will loop around the Johnson Park amphitheater. 

During the meeting, Director John Packer brought up concerns over the agreement costs, which is $94,000 more than he expected. 

“My simplistic way of looking at it was that (these designs should cover) 10 percent of the construction costs,” he said. “We weren’t thinking we were going to build a $2 million bridge.” 

The proposed bridge, which will cross over Backbone Creek, was budgeted at $1.5 million out of an $8 million sales tax revenue bond the EDC issued last year

In response, EDC Executive Director Christian Fletcher explained that construction costs might be slightly higher than anticipated. 

“After touring the site, (we’re) probably closer to $1.2, $1.3 (million) on construction,” Fletcher said. “So $194,000 still isn’t 10 percent, it’s a little more. But if you considered the $1.3 (million) construction plus $200,000 engineering, that’s right at the number.”

In the end, however, the board voted to enter into the agreement, with the stipulation that Fletcher discuss the members’ budget concerns with Stantec representatives to see if lowering costs is an option. 

brigid@thepicayune.com