The Estherville City Council on Monday officially approved the concept of improving the aesthetics of the Central Avenue Bridge.
Council and other city officials reviewed several plans last month with the architect firm of Bolton and Menk, Inc., of Spencer.
On Monday, representative Sam Kessel presented the updated plans following the feedback from the June meeting.
Kessel noted that the three lanes would remain the same. But the plan is to widen the sidewalks on each side to a width of 10 feet.
The design also includes for a new crash barrier as well as new light fixtures with banners and flower baskets that are similar to downtown Estherville. The banners can be switched out from season to season."
The existing fencing will be replaced with fencing similar to what is at Lincoln Park. A 4-foot fence will sit on top of 6 inches of concrete for a total 54-inch height. The concrete will help protect the fence from snowplows and snowmobiles.
The concept also includes columns on each end.
Council members favored a design with 'Estherville' printed along the side.
The project is expected to cost over $400,000. City administrator Penny Clayton said she plans to apply for a trails grant. She also noted the light poles could come from the electric budget and the money for the banners and flowers could come from Excel!
The timetable for the project would likely depend on whether the city gets the trails grant.
Although Clayton noted the project is a 'significant investment,' council members agree it needs to be done.
"The fencing needs to be replaced a minimum, but it didn't make sense to not consider the bigger project," said Clayton.
"This project is long overdue," said council member Gene Haukoos.
Haukoos also observed that since the city has asked businesses to improve their exteriors, it's the city's responsibility to do the same.