Red Wing Riverview Skyway

RED WING-- The new pedestrian bridge connecting the West End District to Bay Point Park and the upper harbor is open to walkers and cyclists. 

City Engineer Jay Owens worked on the bridge, now officially named the Red Wing Riverview Skyway. He told the Republican Eagle after the skyway opened, “The bridge is a really important step in starting a renewal of the whole Upper Harbor area. The project involved some complicated design issues and challenging work with the railroad, but everything came together, and the staff worked hard as a team to get the funding. Now we’re grateful that two important areas of Red Wing are connected, and we’re excited to see lots of people using the skyway.”

A brief history of the pedestrian bridge 

The bridge for cyclists and pedestrians has been discussed and debated by the City Council and residents for many years. In a July report to the council, Owens listed some of the previous actions taken on the bridge. 

  • March 2015: The council adopted the Renewing Old West Main Street Master Plan. One of the major elements of the plan was to provide bike and pedestrian friendly connections between the Upper Harbor, Bay Point Park, the West End District and surrounding neighborhoods.

  • October 2017: The council approved a preliminary design. 

  • August to October 2018: An online survey about the Old West Main Street Renewal project resulted in 652 respondents. The third highest priority chosen by respondents was creating a better connection between Old West Main Street and the riverfront.

  • July 2019: A second online survey yielded 110 respondents. Of this number, 43 people supported the bridge, 63 people opposed it and four were unsure. Of those who opposed, the largest reason was the expense. Of those who supported the project, the largest reason was the bridge would make the area a more vibrant destination for residents and visitors.

  • November 2019: The council approved a purchase agreement with Kelly Anderson for the property between Kelly's Bar and Bayside for the bridge’s south landing.

  • June 2020: The final bridge plans were submitted to the Minnesota Department of Transportation for review.

  • July 2020: The Minnesota Department of Transportation approved the bridge plans.

  • Jan. 11, 2021: The City Council approved a contract with Bolton & Menk Inc. for construction engineering services for the pedestrian bridge.

Project costs

One of the most common questions and concerns about the pedestrian bridge project was the cost. A costs and funding table was included in Owens’ July 2021 report. 

Bridge price

  • Construction total: $1,699,046

  • Design engineering:  $264,019

  • Construction engineering $240,924

  • Land acquisition: $110,000

  • Permits and miscellaneous costs: $40,000

Total price: $2,353,989

Funding sources

  • Federal Highway — Minnesota Department of Transportation’s Transportation Alternatives Program:  $857,218

  • Additional Federal Highway — MnDOT Transportation Alternatives Program: $340,000

  • Current city general funds capital improvement plan, 2017—2020: $507,230

  • DNR Local Trail Connections: $150,000

  • Additional Federal Highway — MnDOT: $85,661

  • WINGS Foundation: $45,000

  • Riverland Foundation: $50,000

  • Surplus capital project funding: $318,880

Total funding: $2,353,989

(1) comment

Joan Halgren

Rachel Fergus, good reporting! I appreciated the detail on costs. Also, the new bridge is a convenient avenue to connect folks with our wonderful river park and city too. Bravo to all involved!

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