Speaking of public forums, we'll be interested to compare the turnout for tonight's City Manager search meeting against Tuesday night's update on the design process for the American Tobacco Trail's Phase E.
As we've talked about here before, Phase E includes the I-40 pedestrian crossing bridge as well as several miles of trail connecting the popular greenway from its current terminus at NC 54 to the Chatham County line. A November public meeting to gather community priorities and provide a background on bridge design concepts brought out over 110 participants, squeezed into the small committee room on the second floor of City Hall.
Tuesday night's program moves to the much-larger first floor Council chambers. Expect a significant turnout to see the latest from Steven Grover, the Berkeley, Cal.-based consultants for what city leaders have called a "signature bridge" gateway over the I-40 corridor.
We understand Grover's firm will present a selection of bridge concepts and designs, based presumably on the feedback from the triangulation survey that attendees were asked to complete at the last meeting. The outcome of the feedback from Tuesday's meeting will provide significant conceptual input to the final bridge design; the City is currently negotiating a contract with Parsons Brinkerhoff for the actual design itself.
According to the City's web site on the project, notice to proceed on the design is scheduled for June 2008, with final design submittal set for March 2009. Assuming the project stays within the enlarged budget of $6.37 million (a cost that includes 4+ miles of trail as well as the bridge), the project would be let for construction bidding in June 2009 and would be expected to be completed by summer 2010.