HASTINGS – The Hastings City Council passed a resolution to demolish the 16th Street Viaduct. The resolution passed 8-0. After voters voted to not rebuild the viaduct during the General Election, although it was by a narrow margin. Councilman Chuck Rosenberg said that this resolution would have been discussed regardless of what the vote turned out to be.
The public is going to say you guys are rushing into this. It’s going to take months, because we have to deal with the railroad, we have to get bids. So you have to start somewhere. Unfortunately, it lost by fifty votes. So the public has spoken on it and I think the council feels that we need to do something and the resolution is what’s in front of us tonight.
One of the early vocal supporters of keeping the viaduct, Councilman Scott Snell, said he had changed his mind when he saw the second report.
I’m an evidentiary kind of a guy and when I saw the latest report that was done on it, and the core sampling, and the drilling sampling, and the ground penetration sampling and I’ve stated this before, I’ve changed my mind and I’m allowed to do that, I’m flexible enough to do that.
Councilwoman Ginny Skutnik and Mayor Corey Stutte both said that it’s time to move on from this issue. Mayor Stutte said they received a letter from Olsson Associates, who conducted the first study, pertaining to the viaduct.
I’ll read the bolded part of their letter. Our recommendation is the bridge be demolished and if deemed necessary, through a traffic study, reconstruction of a modern bridge structure in the same alignment or at a different location to better benefit the city.
They will now move forward with the demolition of the viaduct.