Big changes coming to Chattanooga's Holmberg Bridge - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Big changes coming to Chattanooga's Holmberg Bridge

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

Some big changes are coming to the Holmberg Bridge in Chattanooga.   

The pedestrian bridge connects the city's Art District with the Walnut Street Bridge and sees a lot of foot traffic every day. 

"No matter how cold it is, we like to get out and get a walk in," Kyle Oden said. 

He and his dog Woodrow walk the glass-panel bridge almost everyday. 

"We always walk across the Walnut Street bridge, across the glass bridge and take more of the quieter streets through downtown instead of the busier streets," Oden added. 

Oden and Woodrow are some of thousands that use the Holmberg Bridge every year but the wear and tear from the amount of foot-traffic makes the need for repairs more frequent. 

"We've had several problems since it's been installed in 2005. People walking over it in boots, bicycling over it, skateboarding over it even," Public Works Administrator Justin Holland said. 

Weather takes a toll too. It's caught Oden's eye during his daily walks. 

"I haven't noticed the panels damaged but I've noticed them getting kind of gunky and maybe need to be cleaned a little more but I haven't noticed any of the ones cracked or damaged," he said. 

Replacing the panels are pretty expensive, $4,000 for each one. 

The city  has spent more than $200,000 replacing panels on the bridge since 2009 alone. 

Which is why the city needed to find something more durable, like this stainless steel grate. 

"This actually will have a gradient effect across the bridge and it has a nice artistic look and aesthetic look from one side to the other. It's also practical in that it's slip resistant," Holland said. 

The project will be done in phases. City council has already approved the $88,000 needed for the first phase for the first 12 panels. 

For Oden, if it means it'll save some taxpayer dollars, he's all for it. 

"If it's cheaper to keep it maintained, that's good. But because it's kind of the Art District, it should also look kind of cool because you want the bridge that leads to the art museum to be kind of artsy and look neat and this looks kind of neat how it is, so I hope it still looks pretty cool with they're done with it," Oden added. 

They city plans to have all of the panels replaced with stainless steel grates within the next one to two years. 

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