MINOT, N.D. - Later this week Minot's aldermen will once again take up the issue of adding an opening to the floodwall on Minot's east side to improve access to a walkway that connects north Minot to downtown.
Some argue the proposal might be putting convenience over safety.
Minot resident Scott Joern and his granddaughter have made good use of the Anne Street pedestrian bridge.
He said once crews build the floodwall, it would be nice to be able to continue on his path.
“If they had an opening here, then you could keep walking straight across the bridge, and walk through an opening in the floodwall,” said Joern.
If you're unfamiliar, the Anne Street Bridge is that wooden pedestrian walkway that begins roughly three blocks east of Sammy's Pizza on 4th Avenue. The bridge crosses the Souris River and ends downtown near the Starving Rooster.
Minot Alderman Josh Wolsky supports a proposal to add an extra opening in the upcoming floodwall near the bridge's 4th Avenue entrance. That would avoid forcing pedestrians from having to walk three blocks down to an opening at Broadway, and then hike three blocks back.
“These walls will probably stand for 50 to 100 years, and I see us at a critical point in getting the project right,” said Wolsky.
The old 14-member council narrowly rejected this same proposal last December, amid concerns that adding another opening to the floodwall might do more harm than good.
“We're building flood protection to protect life and safety. You always have the human factors. That opening has to be installed. You have to get the equipment there. You have to get it installed properly,” said Dan Jonasson, Minot Public Works Director.
Wolsky said the neighborhoods needs access to the bridge.
“Better access to this structure. That was what the residents in this area wanted,” he said, in reference to a public meeting on the issue.
As for the floodwall, Jonasson said the bidding process would begin in August.
If you want to voice your opinion on this issue, the council will take it up at a special meeting this Friday, July 21 at 12 p.m. in the council chambers.