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JOIN US FOR THE OFFICIAL RIBBON CUTTING
TO CELEBRATE THE COMPLETION
OF THE BRIDGE LANE RAVINE FOOTBRIDGE

SUNDAY November 16, 2014
at 3 p.m
on the Bridge Lane side of the Footbridge

 

Remarks by Village President Michael West

Remarks by Footbridge Friends President Barbara Schwartz

CUT THE RIBBON AND CROSS THE BRIDGE!
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Two-thirds across the ravine!

The second piece of the new footbridge over the ravine between Bridge and Barnett Lanes was lifted into place Thursday afternoon by a large crane situated at the end of Bridge Lane.  After it was bolted down and secured by workmen for Janke Construction, work immediately began on installation of the wooden walkway for that piece of the bridge.  It had not been done in advance, unlike the first segment, due to the weight of the piece and the height to which it needed to be lifted.  Observers saw the piece hoisted over the tops of the trees on Bridge Lane side of the ravine.  Village Engineer Scott Brandemeier said Thursday that the third piece of the footbridge would be put into place next week after workers pour the concrete abutment that will hold the northwestern end of the bridge in place.

First part of footbridge placed over ravine

A huge crane placed the first part of the new footbridge into place over the ravine between Bridge and Barnett Lanes at midday Tuesday.  The crane, which was positioned on Barnett Lane, lifted the segment, which included the walkway, over the trees and laid it to rest on a large A-frame that had been constructed in the ravine. After placement, workers attached it both to the concrete piling on Barnett and to the A-frame itself.

The next two segments are to be lifted into place over the next several days from the Bridge Lane side of the ravine.  Check the Fox Point village website for details, or contact Village Engineer Scott Brandmeier at Village Hall.

Persons wishing to observe the operation should watch from the Barnett Lane side of the project.

 

GROUND HAS BEEN BROKEN!

Fox Point village trustees and officials and representatives of Footbridge Friends broke ground Friday morning  for a safe new footbridge between Bridge and Barnett Lanes.  Construction is expected to begin August 25, with a bridge opening planned for late October.  Watch this space for information about when the large cranes will be lifting the bridge components into place. 

THANK YOU TO EVERYONE FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

GROUNDBREAKING on August 8

Fox Point Village officials and Footbridge Friends Inc. will hold a formal groundbreaking for a new footbridge over the ravine between Bridge and Barnett Lanes at 9 a.m. on Friday, August 8, 2014.  We are still waiting to hear from village officials about details -- for example, what side of the ravine!  It will be a happy day and the beginning of a key phase of this project.  See you then!

Bridge construction to begin August 25

Construction of the new footbridge will now begin on August 25th, with construction substantially completed by October 31st, according to Scott Brandmeier, director of public works and village engineer.  He set out the revised timetable at a well-attended meeting about the project July 16th at Fox Point Village Hall.

Work is beginning later than originally hoped for due to the rainy spring and summer and extra time needed for drawings and design.

Complete details about the construction project will be posted soon at the village's Web site (http://www.vil.fox-point.wi.us/), as will weekly updates as soon as construction begins.

Here are a few key points about the project discussed at the meeting:

  • Work on the bridge will be done from both sides, completely in the village right-of-way. 
  • Two cranes will be used to lift the six pieces of the bridge into place.  The larger crane will be on the Bridge Lane side of the ravine.  Moving it into place will require closing traffic on Lake Drive for part of a day.
  • A viewing space will be set up on the Barnett Lane side of the ravine so neighbors can watch the bridge components being swung into place.
  • Construction headquarters will be on the Barnett Lane side of the ravine. It will occupy about the same amount of space as the HQ used last year when the old bridge was removed.
  • At this point, only 10 trees on the village right-of-way will be removed or trimmed, according to Brandmeier.  They are currently marked with red ropes.  Some of these trees are already dead.  Others are smaller ash trees, likely to be impacted in the future by the emerald ash borer. One larger ash tree on the Bridge Lane side must be removed in order to accommodate the crane.  This is being done in the hope that two arbor vitae trees on the opposite side of the path can be saved. 
  • Some landscaping will be done this fall, but the majority of the new trees, plants and bushes will be planted in the spring, to better take advantage of the growing seasons.
  • Footbridge Friends hopes to work with the village over the winter so that a plaque noting donors of $1,000 or more can be installed in the spring, as well.
  • Discussion has begun on allocating a space on the Barnett side of the bridge, adjacent to the Schwartz property, for handicapped parking.

Footbridge Friends and the village will hold a groundbreaking ceremony some time in late August and a dedication ceremony later in the fall.

Public meeting to detail bridge construction

The Village of Fox Point will hold a Public Information Meeting about the Bridge Lane Footbridge on Wednesday, July 16 at 6 p.m. at Fox Point Village Hall.  At the meeting, village staff, the village’s consultant and Janke Contractors will be available to explain the proposed schedule for construction of the pedestrian bridge, describe the method of construction and answer any questions.

The village anticipates the meeting will last until 7:30 p.m.  We hope to see you there!  In the event you will not be able to attend, Footbridge Friends will post a report to this site the next day. 

Village Manager Melissa Bohse estimated that construction will begin shortly thereafter.  She indicated that the soggy weather of the past month was a key reason why construction has yet to begin.  Bohse also said the village will be posting weekly reports on its Web site about the construction process. 

Footbridge Friends will repost those reports to this site.

There also will be a formal groundbreaking later in July.  I’ll pass that information along as soon

as a date is set.  Bohse said construction is expected to last eight to 10 weeks.

Thanks again for all your support!

-- Barbara Schwartz. Footbridge Friends president

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WE DID IT!

Village board votes 6-1 to begin construction

on a safe new footbridge

The  Fox Point Village Board ended years of debate, discussion and analysis Tuesday night with a 6-1 vote to begin construction on a new footbridge over the deep ravine between Bridge and Barnett Lanes.  The board made its decision after Footbridge Friends offered the village $515,000 in donations and pledges, which will cover half the cost of construction and construction supervision, plus full repayment of the $30,000 loan made to the Friends when they embarked upon their fundraising campaign.

Construction is expected to begin later this spring, with a footbridge opening planned for late summer or early fall.  Footbridge Friends president Barbara Schwartz told the board that the campaign committee and other volunteers who worked on this project deserved the thanks of the village for their hours and hours of public-spirited hard work.  Footbridge Friends would especially like to thank all of its generous donors, whose incredible generosity has made this project possible. 

Schwartz also observed that the campaign now moves into its next critically important stage:  the collection of pledges and transfer of funds to the village.  Watch your mailboxes for your invoices, if you are still paying off your signed pledge.  Prompt response is necessary in order to honor a regular payment schedule with the village.

THANK YOU AGAIN FOR ALL YOUR SUPPORT!

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JOIN US ON APRIL 8TH

TO SUPPORT the NEW FOOTBRIDGE!

Mark your calendar to attend the Village Board meeting at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 8th

at Village Hall to show your support for a safe, new footbridge over the ravine between

Bridge and Barnett Lanes!  Trustees will consider two bids submitted in late March

(see below).  Although they are familiar with your long-time dedication to the project,

it would be good to remind them of it at this important meeting. 

See you then!

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CONSTRUCTION BIDS COME IN UNDER $1 MILLION; VILLAGE ENGINEER REPORTS

TO BOARD ON APRIL 8TH; AS WILL FOOTBRIDGE FRIENDS ON THEIR CAMPAIGN

Two firms submitted bids on March 25 to the Village of Fox Point regarding the construction of a footbridge between Bridge and Barnett Lanes.  Edward Kraemer & Sons of Plains, Wisconsin, submitted a bid for $930,000;  Janke General Contractors of Athens, Wisconsin, submitted a bid for $876,496.85.  Both firms also included alternative lower bids that would use either pressurized treated lumber or Trex recycled wood product for the deck rather than the EPI wood asked for in the main bid.  Neither bid included construction supervision fees. Village Engineer Scott Brandmeier indicated that a supplemental bid would likely be required due to an error made in the original bid document regarding the depth of asphalt to be used in the project.

The Village Board is expected to consider the bids at their 7 p.m. meeting on Tuesday, April 8th.  Footbridge Friends will also make a report regarding its fundraising campaign.  "We look forward to sharing with the Village Board information about the strong support evidenced by village residents for a safe, new footbridge over the ravine," said Footbridge Friends president Barbara Schwartz.  "Our team of volunteers continues to work with dedication on the campaign, and we remain positive and enthusiastic about the support we have received."

BIDS TO CONSTRUCT A NEW FOOTBRIDGE ARE OUT;

VILLAGE BOARD TO HEAR RESULTS AT THE APRIL 8TH BOARD MEETING

As many of you already know, bids to construct a new footbridge over the ravine between Barnett and Bridge went out after Village Board action in January.  This was done after the Village Engineer reported to the board that the company that advises the village regarding the footbridge had lowered its original estimate of how much it will cost to build a new footbridge.  The company estimated  that costs could now come in around $1 million, or even under $1 million.  That would significantly lower the fundraising goal for the Footbridge Friends.  Needless to say, we are looking forward to hearing the results of the bid process at the April Village Board meeting.

JOIN US TO SHOW YOUR SUPPORT FOR A NEW FOOTBRIDGE! THIS IS THE MEETING TO HAVE GOOD TURNOUT!  7 P.M. APRIL 8TH AT VILLAGE HALL.

MORE FOUNDATIONS JOIN THE EFFORT; NOW 75% OF THE WAY TO ORIGINAL GOAL

The Ralph Evinrude Foundation and the WE Energies Foundation have both made significant donations to the campaign to rebuild the footbridge in Fox Point. The Evinrude Foundation made a gift of $7,500;  the WE Energies Foundation made a gift of $1,000. 

The Evinrude family -- founders of  Evinrude Outboard Motors, a company that builds a major brand of outboard motors for boats -- long maintained a home in Fox Point and is considered one of the village's founders.  The company itself was founded in Milwaukee in 1907.

Both gifts will be matched by an anonymous donor, who will be matching all donations of $1,000 or more until December 31st.

As of December 13, Footbridge Friends has raised more than $470,000 in pledges and gifts, putting the campaign at 75% of the way to its original goal of $625,000.  Recent discussions at village board meetings suggest that construction costs for a new footbridge may be less than originally believed, which may put the campaign even closer to success.

SAD NEWS

Footbridge supporter Ed Hipkedied last week.Ed grew up on Barnett Lane and had fond memories of the beloved old footbridge.  He spoke out to the Village Board about the need to keep a footbridge over the ravine passage and worked with us behind the scenes and with active fundraising to see a new bridge happen.  Ed was a gentleman with a wonderful sense of humor and an admirable sense of community.  We will miss him and are grateful that many of us newcomers to the village got to know him through this project.  Rest in peace, Ed.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Footbridge Friends is thankful to have raised $445,250, with generous thanks to an anonymous donor who has matched all pledges of $1,000 or more and will continue to do so until Dec. 31st!  Please consider making a pledge, writing a check or increasing your pledge as part of your year-end giving.  And have a Happy Thanksgiving!

FOOTBRIDGE CHALLENGE GRANT NETS $132,00; DONOR EXTENDS OFFER TO DECEMBER 31 TO MATCH DONATIONS OF $1,000 OR MORE

Fox Point – Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor, Footbridge Friends has made great strides in its year-long effort to replace the iconic footbridge over the ravine between Bridge and Barnett Lanes.

The four-month challenge gift has resulted in $132,000 generated toward the campaign, with $66,000 in new or significantly increased pledges being matched dollar for dollar. A number of key of donations in late September put total fundraising to date over the $400,000 mark, said Barbara Schwartz, president of the Footbridge Friends, Inc., the citizens group working in a public/private partnership with the Village board to fund a new footbridge.

Footbridge Friends is more than 60% of the way to its goal of $655,000.   The campaign has generated gifts and pledges of all sizes, from $25,000 to numerous $5,000 and $1,000 pledges, as well as the initial gift of $18.18 given to launch a successful effort.

In addition, the anonymous donor, who was pleased by the response to the challenge, has now offered to modify and extend it until December 31, 2013 for all new pledges of $1,000 or more.

“While I have been encouraged by the generosity of residents across the village who want a new footbridge, the extension of this offer to match donations is incredibly appreciated,” Schwartz said. “If 50 new donors each pledge $1,000, the match will bring this project past the half-million-dollar amount.”

FOX POINT FOUNDATION SUPPORTS FOOTBRIDGE PROJECT

Many thanks to the Fox Point Foundation for pledging $2,500 to the footbridge project.  Under the leadership of president Christopher Mehring, the foundation has worked tirelessly for years with village residents to make Fox Point a special place to live. 

According to its Web site, "with resident involvement and financial support, the foundation funds projects and activities that enhance our community and improve our quality of life, helping to make Fox Point the wonderful place we're proud to call home."

The foundation has supported many worthy projects since its formation in 1976, most notably the Independence Day parade and the annual Summer Serenade.

For more information about this important organization, we suggest that you check out its Web site at www.foxpointfoundation.org.  And please consider supporting this group financially in the future!

WE'VE PASSED THE $400,000 MARK!

We rolled into October with more than $400,000 in pledges and gifts.  We are closer than ever to a new footbridge, with a full schedule of activities scheduled for the rest of the year.   Thanks to everyone for their support! 

A SAD DAY IN FOX POINT...

(August 15, 2013)  The footbridge was torn down today.  Workmen have been on the site since August 5, removing the decking and fencing and preparing it to be collapsed, pulling it down from the Barnett side of the ravine.  They only removed six trees in advance of the tear down, in keeping with the village's promise to be as environmentally sensitive as possible.   While we have been working hard to raise funds for the a new bridge, one can't help but be emotional on a day like this.  So many memories....

But there is hope, even on a sad day like today.  That's why we have been working so hard, so a new footbridge can again span the ravine and serve the North Shore for another 100 years. 

There is video of tear-down at www.jsonline.com  Video is expected to be posted on the Village of Fox Point web site. 

ANONYMOUS DONOR ISSUES $100,000 CHALLENGE GRANT

An anonymous donor has issued a $100,000 challenge grant to any new gifts of $5,000 or more to the Footbridge Friends between now and September 30, 2013. Additionally, current donors of $1,000 or $3,000 who increase their contributions by $2,000 are also eligible for the match.  Visit the Giving page to make your contribution now.

For many decades, Fox Point area residents have delighted in an iconic footbridge that stretches 300 feet across one of the lakefront's deep ravines.  Located between Bridge and Barnett Lanes, it provides a welcome path for hikers, bicyclists and runners – or families just out for a stroll.  This natural oasis in our urban community provides stunning views of Lake Michigan as well as the majestic woods and small stream that runs through the ravine.

The footbridge, built in the early part of the last century, has now deteriorated to the point that the Village of Fox Point was forced to close it in October, 2010 for safety reasons.

Our non-profit organization, Footbridge Friends Inc., was established in the summer of 2012 to support the funding of a new footbridge.