Ed Butler noticed the pedestrian bridge over the railway tracks about 2 months ago while strolling along Bonneville Street towards downtown. A singular walker who doesn’t own an automobile or a bike, Butler likes to go from his task at University Medical Center to the downtown casinos as soon as every other week.
“That’ $ d be nice to have more of these, I would certainly utilize them,” $ he stated. ” $ I rarely see anybody utilize them.” $ The pedestrian bridge, which cost $4.5 million to construct and connects a city-owned parking lot at Main Street and Clark Opportunity to The Smith Center for the Performing Arts car park, is rarely utilized. The Review-Journal invested 3 hours on the bridge July 6– $ ” an hour each in the early morning, at noon and at night. Sixteen individuals were seen and talked to.
Despite the meager traffic, strategies are afoot to build 2 more pedestrian bridges connecting the downtown area with city-owned Symphony Park, 61 mostly vacant acres earmarked for private advancement. In January, the Las Vegas City Council authorized an interlocal agreement to draw blueprints for a 2nd pedestrian bridge spanning the railway just south of the Plaza hotel-casino.
Designs would cost $900,000 for the bridge, which would run parallel to the Ogden Opportunity underpass and link a car park at the corner of Main Street and Ogden Avenue on one side, and the north end of the city $’s vacant lot. Like the current bridge, the proposed bridge would consist of stairs, elevators and supposedly a concrete deck and a moving pathway. City spokesman Jace Radke stated in January that engineering costs are typically 10 percent of a recommended job, which could put the expense of the bridge at $9 million.
MORE BRIDGES PREPARED
City authorities, such as Economic and Urban Development Director Costs Arent, acknowledge ” $ there isn’ $ t a big existing demand, since there isn’ t a lot constructed out in Symphony Park.” However, they plan to go forward with the bridges whether there is existing development on the land or not.
“I believe the strategy is that we do it to stimulate advancement,” Aren’t stated. ” $ It’ $ s kind of the same thing as why put in the drain and water and conduit for the power and pave the streets before someone’ $ s all set to construct.” $ When the interlocal arrangement was approved in January, the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada specified that the second bridge be completed by 2017 to coincide with the expected completion of a downtown soccer stadium. But the soccer stadium strategies fell through. Aren’t provided no timeline for conclusion of the pedestrian bridge, other than “5 to seven” $ years.
The city intends to turn the previous rail yard into a prospering mixed-use center that will continue the development seen simply to the east in the Fremont East District. Designers and city personnel have actually long prepared a 1.6 million-square-foot hotel-casino, incorporated with hundreds of real estate units.
In November 2013, the city approved an advancement arrangement with CITRA Realty Capital to build a $71 million knowledgeable nursing and living center, helped living facility and parking garage. The advancement would be on 3.3 acres near the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health.
Construction was anticipated to begin by this previous spring, but the city and CITRA have yet to agree on the land sale. Aren’t stated the city anticipates to close on the purchase by the end of July, and for CITRA to begin construction by October.
ITS FEW USERS APPRECIATIVE
Individuals who actually made use of the bridge, on a hot day in July, appreciated its presence.
John Burnett, who works in finance at The Smith Center, stated he walks to lunch on the bridge occasionally.
“Just from an employee perspective, there’ s not a lot to eat over here,” $ Burnett stated. ” $ A minimum of not yet.” $ Another beneficiary: sandwich purveyors. Bike delivery kids at the Jimmy John’s sandwich shop in Las Vegas Municipal government not have to take the longer path on Bonneville to deliver subs to employees at The Smith Center, Discovery Kid’s Museum and World Market Center. Instead they take the three-story elevator from the ground-floor of the Main Street parking garage, bike throughout the bridge, then take the elevator on the opposite end to the car park.
“All the delivery individuals for Jimmy John’s” make use of the pedestrian bridge, said one rider, who asked not to be recognized. “It makes the deliveries quicker, so it’s very cool.”
Employees at the MTO Cafe, which is nearby to the Main Street parking lot and across the street from Town hall, park in The Smith Center car park (which is free), and walk over the bridge to work instead of pay to park in the parking garage, General Manager Donna Orr said.
“(The city) needs to promote (the bridge) more, they really should,” Orr said. It gets little foot traffic throughout the week, she stated, although higher traffic on weekends to the museum or when the performing arts center has occasions.
BRIDGE HAS ITS CRITICS
Visitors and workers at The Smith Center and Discovery Museum have little incentive to make use of the bridge when there is sufficient free parking surrounding to the sites.
John Wei, a center staff member, was blunt about using the bridge. Wei estimated he was one of about 10 at The Smith Center who used the bridge.
“Are you asking if it’ s a huge waste of money?” $ Wei said. ” $ The answer’ s yes.” $ Arent stated critics were considering the bridges the incorrect method. The renowned pilot and financier Howard Hughes, he noted, spent for the Summerlin Parkway prior to any individual lived west of Las Vegas.
” $ If they were not successful and absolutely nothing developed out, they would have been out a great deal of money.
“If we get another million square feet of office and retail constructed, and people leaving their office throughout the lunch hour to walk, it will deserve it. You need to look at it with a minimum of a 10-year period.” $ Butler, the UMC worker, shares the vision of a lively downtown.
” $ I wish there were more locations to consume downtown. I want there were more range. I think it would deserve something,” $ he stated.
But he wasn’ $ t sure if it would deserve it if the bridges didn’ $ t lead anywhere.
“I’ $ d rather see them invest money back into the city than build something simply for appearances,” $ he stated.
Contact Knowles Adkisson at [email protected]!.?.! or 702-224-5529. Follow @knowlesadkisson on Twitter. Related story: Pedestrian bridges on
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