By Harrison Thrasher
The Mason Times
The proposal of a pedestrian bridge at the entrance of Mason’s famed Hayhoe Riverwalk appears to be on track.
Director of zoning and development David Haywood was present at a City Council meeting to discuss where the project stands and what needs to be done moving forward.
The specification package for the bridge has been made by Wolverine Engineers, a surveying company based in Mason. The most pressing issue addressed by Haywood was the construction process and funding.
“We’ve decided to go the route of a pre-manufactured bridge as opposed to designing and building it ourselves,” said Haywood. “To have Wolverine Engineers design the bridge would escalate our engineering costs significantly.”
However, Haywood said that only design and assembly costs escalate in the field, not installation. The bridge can be installed by “any qualified construction company,” in this case, Wolverine Engineers.
Councilman James Mulvany, who made a significant personal donation to the project, clarified the installation process.
“The bridge will be built at a particular location to be transported to Mason, then placed on top of the footings by a crane,” said Mulvany.
Mulvany expressed concern for where the engineering fee is going, as Wolverine Engineers is doing the work on-site, but not the design or assembly. Haywood clarified that there is only one engineering fee that is needed to actually install the bridge and survey the surrounding land, which is essentially what Wolverine Engineers will be paid for.
Mayor Michael Waltz clarified Haywood’s explanation on the engineering fee, saying that giving the fee to Wolverine Engineers would essentially complete the task.
“Once we give them (Wolverine Engineers) the go-ahead, they will take it from A to Z and deliver us a completed project,” said Waltz.
Another important aspect of this project is a trailhead sign in front of the bridge. Mayor Pro Tem Marlon Brown wanted to clarify that the sign is to include the names of all donors (individuals and organizations), which includes two council members, Elaine Ferris and Mulvany.
Haywood clarified that it was the plan to include the donor names, per requirement of the Department of Natural Resources, the regulators of the project.
Haywood said, “We are anticipating to bid approximately April 1, with selection for a contractor sometime in June 2015, and hopefully completed this summer as our funding sources are available.”