Scott McKellar, LCRDF Chair, and Dave Weldy, former Chelan City Council member, presented Scott's conceptual sketches for enhancing pedestrian and bicyclist safety on the Old Bridge to the City of Chelan Council in 2010. The idea is to attach an 8'-10' addition to each side of the existing bridge and take the existing sidewalks off the bridge deck. Scott's sketches suggested adding a handrail to the outside of each addition that would tie into the architecture of the existing bridge. In addition to improving pedestrian and bicyclist safety, highway safety would be improved as well since each lane would be widened an additional 2'-3'. The Council directed the City staff to hire a Professional Engineer to review Scott's sketches and provide recommendations. This was done in 2011. The Engineer agreed that the idea had merit and would definitely improve safety.
In 2011, the LCRDF attempted to disuade the City from building Section J of the Lakeside Trail system, which would be a "trail to nowhere" since that trail section is located in Lakeside at the opposite end of the completed trail section by Campbell's. The LCRDF wrote a letter suggesting it would be more prudent to use the $200,000+ funds for that project on safety improvements for the Old Bridge. LCRDF's suggestion was that the City should use those funds to develop "engineered drawings" that could be used for grant applications. In effect, if the City would fully design the proposed additons, the project would be "shovel ready" and most certainly be more eligible for funding than other city or county projects that were not fully designed. The City Council awarded a contract for the Section J segment of the Lakeside Trail and it was constructed in 2012 rather than using the funds for Old Bridge safety improvements.
LCRDF supports the City's efforts to obtain grants for modifications to the Old Bridge. The proposed alterations will be a huge positive safety improvement when completed.