We Can Save It
Once the City of Erie agrees to proceed with saving the Viaduct, there are three key steps that must be taken: PARTER with non-profits; REVISE BIDS for Viaduct Repair; and SECURE $ to fix the bridge.
partner with non-profits
To begin the process, the new City grant-writer and city planner will meet with the City Council Viaduct liaison (Councilman Kwitowski), Erie County Department of Planning and Public Health, Erie's Public Schools, members of ErieCPR, Civitas, NAACP, AACC, BikeErie, PreservationErie and others to review lessons from the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Urban Parks, attract additional endorsements and write a Community Benefits Agreement (CBA).
revise bids for viaduct repair
Cancel call for demolition contracts and revise bid documents to require contracts to honor CBA and training locals to re-skin the Viaduct.
A mistaken assumption is that it will cost a lot to maintain the Viaduct. As architect Adam J. Trott has explained, once the bridge is "re-skinned," drains cleared, pot holes filled, stairs repaired and lights replaced - the maintenance costs will only include clearing the surface of snow, keeping drains clear and lights on. These costs aren't overwhelming, and, from a cost-benefit analysis it is evident that it makes more sense to fix the bridge for non-vehicular use.
PennDOT confirmed that $1.26 in "Demo-Offset" can be used to fix Viaduct. Add in the $70,000 the City has pledged, and we only need to find $20,000 to fix the Viaduct. There are several sources for this amount, and for the $7,000 that will be needed annually to clean the storm drains and create a capital fund for optional improvements. There are at least 3 sources:
First, the new $32M in state funds has been awarded to enhance the Bayfront and West and East 12th Street, with which the Viaduct connects with and serves as a key pedestrian and bike artery.
Next, County Council is working on legislation that would charge a $5 registration fee on all vehicles that would generate over $1M annually to fix or create municipal roads, bridges and bikeways. In addition, a one-time state bonus of a reported $2M will also be available.
Lastly, with the help of the incoming administration's new grant writer and city planner, Erie can use the $1.7M as "matches" to allow the City of Erie to apply for state and federal grants supporting kid's safety, public heath, urban design and walkability, place-making, infrastructure repair, poverty abatement and economic development including:
- Safe Routes to School Partnership
- Safe Kids Worldwide Grants
- Youth Service America Grants
- American Legion Child Welfare Foundation Grants
- World Bank Poverty Reduction Fund
- Prevention and Public Health Funding from Partners in Information
- The Kresge Foundation Health Program
- Federal Prevention and Public Health Fund
- DOT's Infrastructure for Rebuilding America Grants
- Federal Reconnecting America Federal Grants
- US Senator Bob Casey's FAST Act Federal Transportation Bill.
- Community Heart and Soul Placemaking Grants - www.orton.org
- National Creative Placemaking Fund at ArtPlace America
- National Endowment for the Arts "Our Town" Creative Placemaking Grants (EfficientGov)
- Project for Public Spaces Placemaking Grants
- LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation) Economic Development & Creative Placemaking
- Realtor Action Center Placemaking Guide
- The Kresge Foundation Place-Based Initiatives