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Vets Lake bridge replacement on agenda
Bridge well used by walkers, anglers
vets lake bridge
Shown its the heavily used walking bridge at Veterans Memorial Park. The Great Bend City Council Monday night will consider replacing it. - photo by DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune

When the Great Bend City Council meets Monday night, it will consider the purchase of new walking bridge for southwest corner of Veterans Lake at Veterans Memorial Park.

The current bridge was installed around 2000  and “It is well used by all ages of walkers and anglers,” Public Lands Director Scott Keeler said in the agenda packet for Monday’s meeting. However, the lumber and the floats are deteriorating. 

The estimates from EZ Dock are for the purchase of the 230-foot bridge/ramps for $132,055.90 with an estimate for turnkey installation of $158,555.90. They could have the project completed this spring. 

Keeler said the city staff would be able to install it next fall/winter if the council opts to not pick the turnkey plan. 

“We have been reimbursed with (Federal Emergency Management Agency) money from the flood a couple years ago and in total we have $146,480.74 that we could utilize to pay the upfront cost,” he said. FEMA will also reimburse the city for 75% and the State of Kansas will reimburse the city 10% for the bridge replacement, leaving the city to cover 15%, or about $12,000. 

If the council chooses the higher bid for turnkey installation, there is some unencumbered funds that were transferred in 2022 that could be utilized to cover the shortage, he said. Once FEMA has reimbursed the city, the money would be deposited back into those funds.