(WICHITA, Kan.)—The City of Wichita is going to spend more than expected to replace the Lincoln Street bridge. Bids came in $2.5 million higher than anticipated. Back in September, the city council approved spending $12.5 million to construct a new bridge and build a new dam downstream. The dam would include a fish and boat pass.
City engineer Jim Armour say they've worked with bidders to try and lower the costs. They determined the arms on the dam are more expensive than they first thought. Armour told the council they have two options. He says they could use money left over from road projects and park funds to cover the difference or they could rehab the existing bridge.
Council member Jim Skelton says if the city can afford it, it will be better in the long run. He says this is an important project and wants to move forward. Council member Jeff Longwell agrees but wondered if there's a way to redesign the project. He says cost is often contingent on the way the bridge is engineered. Armour says they've done what they can to reduce cost but it would be worth a try.
The council ended up approving $2.6 million to continue with constructing a new bridge and dam. The extra $100,000 will be possibly used to redesign the project if there will be a significant cost savings.