OMAHA (kptm) - Omaha officials are working on plans for a new downtown walking bridge. They say it would be an expansion to the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge.
Fox 42 spoke with some who think the bridge would increase shopping and help lighten the flow of traffic near TD Ameritrade Park.
The potential project would link the existing bridge to a parking lot east of TD Ameritrade Park. It would go over the railroad tracks east of the CenturyLink Center and stop at the corner of 10th and Mike Fahey streets.
People that walk the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge said having the new walking bridge would give them easier access to shopping in north downtown. "There's so much more stuff going on there now and you hate for it just to be used during the College World Series, so it's cool. It would be nicer to have more of a centralized location. Instead of everybody going to the Old Market and now it needs to be more of a destination location, I think," Rhonda Anderson said.
Each day, thousands step foot on the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge, while some check it out as tourists, others use it daily. To save gas money, Gordon Currin bikes across to get to work. He says he would prefer the expansion because it would shorten his ride. "It'd be awesome because now I have to ride over here around CenturyLink up over onto 10th street and it's just a big headache.
He said while the bridge helps him to have an easier commute, his biggest challenge is after he gets off the bridge onto Riverfront drive. He says the railroad tracks are his toughest obstacle. "Well I have to pick my bike up and carry it whenever I go across the tracks and it's just a headache to get off my bike. I get in a zone and I just want to ride to work and get to work and same on the way back. All these obstacles in my way, I have to get off my bike and walk and pick it up and carry it, it's just a big headache."
So much so that he challenges anyone opposing the expansion to ride a mile in his shoes. "Ride a bike across here and try to go somewhere, I mean for a week, and see how you feel, then tell me what you think. I bet you'll probably decide on it then," Currin said.
City planning officials estimate that the project will cost roughly 3.8 million dollars. They say funding the project could also require donations from nearby businesses.
City officials say if the project is approved, construction will likely begin in 2016.
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