A walk through Minot

Two pedestrian bridges linking northeast Minot and downtown continue to be closed, and there’s a chance both structures will not reopen ever and that’s not good news for pedestrians.

The larger Anne Street Bridge had been closed even before the Souris River flood of 2011 because of safety concerns. The smaller Victory bridge was heavily damaged by the river during the flood and has been closed ever since. The city plans to remove the pre-assembled structure in July, and then evaluate the bridge to see if it can be repaired.

We hope the Victory bridge can be repaired and reopened, but we also hope there’s a solution found for pedestrians to cross the river and railroad tracks somewhere other than the Broadway Bridge or the Third Street Bridge. Both of those paths are adjacent to extremely busy roadways that are generally full of vehicles. It’s simply not the same as strolling across the Anne Street Bridge or the Victory bridge, away from the noise and congestion of constant motor vehicle traffic.

We fully understand that any decision on repairing and reopening the two pedestrian bridges will be driven to a large degree by economics. If it’s ultimately cheaper to build a new bridge, would it make sense to repair the 15-foot by 940-foot Anne Street Bridge, which was built before 1915 and was placed on the National Registry of Historic Places in 1986? Financially, probably not. But historically, yes. But historical value likely wouldn’t be enough to save the structure.

In any scenario, residents of the city and especially those living in northeast Minot need a functional pedestrian bridge spanning the river and the railroad tracks other than the Broadway and Third Street bridges.