Bellevue City officials are trying to determine what to do with their nearly 70 year old toll bridge near Old Towne. Highway 34 shut down last month due to flooding and that’s been pushing more traffic to the Bellevue Bridge
“Since 34 has been closed, we have upped our traffic count over 3,000 cars a day. We used to run about 1,800 a day. Now we’re well over 5,000," Bridge Manager Sandy Frost tells 6 News. "I’d be curious to see how their revenues have been these last three weeks with all this extra traffic."
The extra cars are a welcome sight for business owners in Old Towne, who say keeping the bridge open is critical to their success. Tyler Sorenson owns an Old Towne restaurant and told 6 News without the bridge his business might not be here.
"I’d say without that bridge business would be a lot slower here, maybe to the point we would consider moving this location because a lot of traffic, especially from the Google Center being built across the bridge, comes over here.”
The Bellevue Bridge Commission has hired a consulting firm to study the best options for the future of the bridge. The options include:
- Tear it down
- Build a new bridge
- Convert the old bridge to a recreational trail
The consulting firm will compile all the information and issue a draft report on the best option for the Bellevue Toll Bridge sometime next month. If a new bridge is built, it would not be a toll bridge.
(Photo: 6 News)