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Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - The Rochester City Council is being asked to authorize staff to proceed with planning for the construction of a new bridge connecting the west and east halves of the city.

City officials are hoping to move forward with preliminary and advanced structural, architectural, and engineering design for a bridge over the Zumbro River just east of South Broadway that would connect 6th Street Southwest to 6th Street Southeast near the downtown fire station. If the Council approves, the authorization would also allow staff to submit applications for state and federal funding to help cover the cost of the project. The city hopes to be awarded a Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity grant through the US Department of Transportation that would cover 80 percent of the costs.

6th St bridge plan/Rochester
6th St bridge plan/Rochester
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A 6th Street bridge was first proposed in 1973 and has been discussed a number of times since 2010. This proposal stems from the 2021 Downtown Waterfront Master Plan, largely because it would likely help spur the redevelopment of the properties along the Zumbro River between 9th Street and 4th Street Southeast. Since then, a conceptual design has been created and there have been more than 30 virtual meetings with the public to discuss and collect comments as part of the conceptual design process.

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The City Council previously reviewed the conceptual design during a study session last month. The issue is now included in the consent agenda for the City Council meeting Monday evening.

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