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Greenway Supporters Eye $2 Million For Project

April 20, 2012, 5:29 PM by Brady Mallory

Greenway Supporters Eye $2 Million For Project
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

Supporters of the Sioux Falls River Greenway say the project is under-funded.

Now they hope part of a $4 million surplus in the city will fix the problem and move the project forward.

Mayor Mike Huether wants the Sioux Falls City Council to put the extra money toward the Events Center, but council members have said other projects need the money more.  Area developers have been meeting with city council members and want about $2 million for the next phase of the River Greenway.

It has been touted as the River Greenway to beat all others.

"Just imagine you've ridden your bike however many miles. You stop and there's a concert going on.  You can sit and have a beverage.  You can lounge or kayak," city council member Michelle Erpenbach said. 

Erpenbach's excited about the added ambiance to downtown, but said the project could be a little greener.  Without the $2 million in sales tax surplus, we might be waiting a while for those future possibilities.  Erpenbach said relying on the city's capital improvement budget to pay for the project is not going to get the job done.

"Does it mean it's funded to be finished in a certain amount of time?  No.  It's not funded adequately to be finished in five years.  To me, it needs to be finished sooner than five years," Erpenbach said.

Phase two is expected to begin this summer.  Part of the next phase requires moving the pedestrian bridge on 8th Street and building a new one resembling the bridge near Cherapa Place.  The cost for moving the old bridge, designing and building a new bridge and permits could be around $1.5 million.  Erpenbach said it is more cost effective to do this now.

"If we're going to do some of those changes now, while they're doing construction here.  Wouldn't it also make more sense to do it at the same time?" Erpenbach said.

Click on the image below to see a larger version of the Phase 2 plans

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