Requirements by the Trump Administration that all federally-funded projects be made with predominantly American steel have put Ste. Genevieve County’s “back against the wall,” in Presiding Commissioner Garry Nelson’s words.
The commissioners have been moving toward having a pedestrian walkway erected over Progress Parkway for safety and for accessibility reasons. The walkway would lead from the parking areas by the Ste. Genevieve County Community Center and the Progress Sports Complex on the west side of the road to the River Rapids Waterpark on the east side.
The difference in elevation between the two areas prompted the commissioners’ desire for a walkway and an elevator.
With the bridge not yet built, a crosswalk will have to be used this year if the waterpark is able to open at some point after the national health crisis passes.
It has been assumed that it would be cheaper to put an elevator on the bridge than to wind access ramps around the grounds to meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) specifications.
The slope of access ramps could not be more than 12 degrees, requiring a ramp that would need to be 150 to 200 feet long.
The bridge is largely being paid for through a Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) grant, covering 75 percent or about $300,000 of the project. The county will pay 25 percent, or a little under $100,000.
The grant money would come from the Federal Highway Administration, through the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT).
Installing an elevator for the bridge would be tricky, but the commissioners believed it would be necessary to make it ADA compliant and eligible for financial reimbursement.
The American steel requirement, though, has made it problematic.
See complete story in the April 22 edition of the Herald.