UPDATE: Council approves $540,000 contract to change downtown's - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Council approves $540,000 contract to change downtown's iconic glass bridge

Posted: Updated:
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

UPDATE: Council members approved a $540,000 contract to repair the Holmberg pedestrian bridge Tuesday night


PREVIOUS STORY: The glass Holmberg bridge is on its way to becoming all stainless steel. Tuesday night City Council members will vote on the next phase of the project, which is to replace the remaining glass panels.

"I think this is wonderful!" Maxwell Eaton said as he looked at the glass bridge.

It's Eaton's first look at the Holmberg Bridge, a staple on the Chattanooga riverfront.

"I think the whole concept of the glass is an attraction!" exclaimed Eaton.

“It was a really nice artistic approach to a neat feature in the city," public works administrator Justin Holland said about the bridge’s glass design.

But the price of art is high, especially when it continues to break.

Since 2009 more than half of the glass panels have been replaced, costing tax payers roughly $270,000 in repairs.

"So the bridge just wasn't a sustainable option as a glass bridge," explained Holland.

Most glass bridges are in controlled environments, like indoors or on observation decks.

When the $1.6 million bridge was built some factors slipped through the cracks, such as the amount of foot traffic, impact from weather, and bicycles. All those factors cause damage to the glass bridge.

"I don't know that anyone would have known that the bridge could be susceptible to the breakage that we've seen," Holland said.

So now the city council will vote on spending $540,000 into switching out the remaining glass panels for this grated stainless steel.

Holland said the initial cost is high, but the city will save money on repairs.

Eaton, who is only visiting Chattanooga, said the cost of the bridge is irrelevant to him, but hates to see it go.
"I don't pay taxes here either so I don't know how that fits into the whole subject,” said Eaton, "A metal bridge is another bridge, but this glass says come on over! You've got to see the other side!"

The change may not be as eye-catching, but Holland said it's a change that will last.

"I think it'll be a great bridge for a long time," Holland said.

A Chattanooga company designed and built the glass bridge. We reached out today to ask about the original design and why factors like weather and traffic were not considered, we haven't heard back. That same company will now redesign the bridge.

It's not clear how long it will take to wrap up the construction, which is slated to start in March.


PREVIOUS STORY: Chattanooga City Council members will vote tonight on a $540,000 contract to repair the Holmberg pedestrian bridge, the glass bridge that connects Walnut Street and the Bluff View Art District.

The $1.6 million bridge opened on Chattanooga’s riverfront in 2005. It’s not the first time the bridge has needed repairs. Channel 3 previously reported on the costly fixes.

READ MORE | Glass Holmberg pedestrian bridge repairs mount

Stay with Channel 3 for updates on this story.

WEEKLY CIRCULARS
  • NewsMore>>

  • Tractor trailer overturns on I-24 W at ridgecut

    Tractor trailer overturns on I-24 W at Ridgecut

    Wednesday, April 25 2018 6:33 AM EDT2018-04-25 10:33:09 GMT
    A tractor-trailer has overturned on Interstate 24 west just passed the Ridgecut.More
    A tractor-trailer has overturned on Interstate 24 west just passed the Ridgecut.More
  • Opioid treatment gap in Medicare: methadone clinics

    Opioid treatment gap in Medicare: methadone clinics

    Tuesday, April 24 2018 3:56 AM EDT2018-04-24 07:56:11 GMT
    Wednesday, April 25 2018 6:30 AM EDT2018-04-25 10:30:51 GMT
    (AP Photo/Kevin D. Liles, File). FILE - In this March 7, 2017, file photo, the CEO of a methadone clinic holds a 35 mg liquid dose of methadone in Rossville, Ga. The drug is the oldest and most effective of approved medications used to treat opioid add...(AP Photo/Kevin D. Liles, File). FILE - In this March 7, 2017, file photo, the CEO of a methadone clinic holds a 35 mg liquid dose of methadone in Rossville, Ga. The drug is the oldest and most effective of approved medications used to treat opioid add...
    Opioid overdoses killed 1,354 Americans ages 65 and older in 2016, but Medicare doesn't cover the oldest proven treatment for opioid addiction: methadone.More
    Opioid overdoses killed 1,354 Americans ages 65 and older in 2016, but Medicare doesn't cover the oldest proven treatment for opioid addiction: methadone.More
  • Southwest has been faced with fines, union safety complaints

    Southwest has been faced with fines, union safety complaints

    Tuesday, April 24 2018 10:06 AM EDT2018-04-24 14:06:10 GMT
    Wednesday, April 25 2018 6:28 AM EDT2018-04-25 10:28:46 GMT
    (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File). FILE - In this April 4, 2011 file photo, a Southwest Airlines plane sits in a remote area of the Yuma International Airport, after the plane had a section of fuselage tear from the plane during a flight in Yuma, Ariz....(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File). FILE - In this April 4, 2011 file photo, a Southwest Airlines plane sits in a remote area of the Yuma International Airport, after the plane had a section of fuselage tear from the plane during a flight in Yuma, Ariz....
    Until last week, Southwest Airlines had a string of 47 years without a passenger dying in an accident, but it has also paid millions in fines over safety.More
    Until last week, Southwest Airlines had a string of 47 years without a passenger dying in an accident, but it has also paid millions in fines over safety.More
Powered by Frankly