People in Belt are moving forward with an effort to replace an iconic suspension bridge that collapsed earlier this year.
The nonprofit Belt Park and Recreation Board is beginning to fundraise and work with engineers to plan a replacement for the bridge.
The bridge reportedly collapsed when a large group of people were jumping on it in late April (see below). There have been no reports that the people responsible have been identified.
Board member Robin Franzen said the replacement will be a solid frame bridge instead of a suspension bridge.
Early cost estimates are about $95,000, but costs will depend on whether they can use the existing concrete anchor points.
According to Franzen, fundraising through donations and grants will likely take several years, but building a new bridge is important for the community’s history and future. He said there has been a bridge in town since the early 1900s.
“It started out with just a couple of logs that were laid across the water and different types of bridges have been here before,” he said. “We’re also working on a recreational trails program crossed on the other side of the dike that will connect our main park. We’ll have a little park built right here.”
A bank account has been set up at Belt Valley Bank for the Belt Park and Rec Bridge Fund for people interested in donating.
-Reported by Joe Huisinga/MTN News
(April 24, 2018) The suspension bridge in Belt has been removed after being damaged over the weekend.
Several people said the bridge collapsed after at least 20 people were on it, jumping up and down and making it swing back and forth, however, one person said there was only six people on the bridge and they were intoxicated.
The bridge went down slowly due to the cables, so there were no serious injuries.
We have been told that authorities plan to file charges against the people responsible.
Belt Mayor Jim Olson lives only a few hundred feet from the bridge and heard when it happened.
He said that this is a huge loss for Belt: “This was an icon for our community. People have come from all over to go to the brewery and to go to the swinging bridge. I think people all over the country are mourning the loss of this bridge today.”
Olson added that a lot of people were in town over the weekend for the Craig Cummings Memorial Basketball Tournament.
The suspension bridge was built in 1931, but the cable structure was only 40 years old.
In 2011, crews replaced the side railings, wood, and cables.