Burke Addition Residents Plan $1.6M Bridge for Flood-prone AreaGRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - After being forced to boat to get their homes during years of spring flooding, a neighborhood just south of Grand Forks is moving forward with plans to build a bridge.
By: David Schwab, WDAZ
GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - After being forced to boat to get their homes during years of spring flooding, a neighborhood just south of Grand Forks is moving forward with plans to build a bridge.
Shady Ridge Court is just outside of the Grand Forks City limits. Residents says they will fork out their own money to finally have a solution to the big problems that come with flooding.
When the Red River hits 43 feet in Grand Forks, the coulee just south of the city covers 62nd Avenue and boats become the way those living on the other side of the water get to their homes.
"The first time it's very exciting. It's fun for us and it's fun for the kids. After that it's pretty much tedium," resident Nichole Pearson said.
Pearson and her family moved to the neighborhood four years ago and this is the first spring since then the she, her husband and kids have not had to use a boat. While doing so she has had some close calls. She remembers one involving her daughter.
"They all wear life vests, but she was getting out and she fell into the water, she was waist deep. It was pretty scary," Pearson said.
The neighborhood organized to have a bridge built and discovered there was no public money to help fund it, so they decided to pay for it themselves. The bridge will be built to the north of 62nd Avenue on the south entrance to Shady Ridge Court.
"One of the reasons it has to go over there is that we have to have a single lane bridge to keep the cost down," Kevin Pierce, who is helping plan the bridge, said.
But even the most modest bridge is expensive. The 400 foot stucture will cost $1.6 million for the 54 property owners.
"Which is about $29,000 per resident," Pierce said.
But the majority of people living here, including Nichole, say it's worth it.