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New ‘Red Bridge’ arrives in pieces for assembly

The rusty-colored steel bridge will be 180 feet long when completed. It is being built longer to accommodate handicapped persons. Last fall crews completed the sanitary sewer and water main work on Beach Road. It’s all part of a larger Heartland Trail master plan. (Anne Erickson / Enterprise)

By Anna Erickson

Pieces of the new bridge have been moved to Red Bridge Park as contractors were readying the site this week.

The Park Rapids City Council heard parts of the new bridge had been delivered at its meeting Tuesday night.

The new bridge will be 180 feet when completed. It is a rusty steel color.

The bridge will be approximately three times as long as the Red Bridge and extend further onto land east of the river.

The height between the bridge and Fish Hook River will stay at 7 ½ feet. The extra length is to make the bridge handicapped accessible.

As snow continues to melt the Heartland Trailhead project is also moving forward.

Last fall, construction was done on Beach Road to replace the sanitary sewer and water main through the area of Red Bridge Park.

Park Rapids is advertising for bids to complete the project this summer. Work includes paving the parking lot and trail through Red Bridge Park. Other amenities will include benches, light poles and picnic tables.

The plan is to keep the old Red Bridge in the park. The exact location hasn’t been set.

The city received $137,000 in grant funding for the improvements. The new steel bridge is paid for with state Department of Natural Resources funding.

The Red Bridge replacement project is part of a larger Heartland Trail master plan. It will reroute the current trail, which goes across the trestle bridge to Highway 34. The trestle bridge is in poor condition and is posted now for a maximum of 1,500 pounds. The DNR will remove the trestle bridge as part of the project. It will not be replaced.

The trestle bridge will be removed after the Red Bridge replacement project is completed, DNR officials said previously.

The project will align with the Heartland Trail master plan, which shows the trail heading west through Red Bridge Park and along Beach Road with the final destination being Moorhead.

The Park Rapids City Council also denied a request by Hubbard County Relay for Life to put ribbons on downtown light poles.

Councilmembers said they were supportive of the cause but didn’t want to set precedent and open the door to other groups wanting to put something else on the light poles.

It has been city practice not to hang anything on the light poles except for flower baskets.

Anna Erickson
Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
(218) 631-2561