City Council Approves McBride Viaduct Demolition Contract
After nearly eight years of debate, Erie City Council has approved the demolition contract for the McBride Viaduct.
Despite pleas from more than two dozen residents asking for one more public hearing to save the bridge, the McBride Viaduct is expected to be torn down.
On Wednesday, in a 4-3 vote, Erie City Council approved the $1.5 million demolition contract of the McBride Viaduct.
"While my heart aches for the loss of the bridge, my head says this is the right decision for the City of Erie." said Erie City Councilman Bob Merski.
The 1,200 foot bridge has been closed since 2010, after engineers deemed
it structurally deficient and unsafe for vehicles.
Erie CPR President Adam Trott and other McBride Viaduct supporters want the bridge to be turned into a pedestrian walkway or art space.
"They voted against openness and transparency,” said Trott. “They voted for the status quo, and that's not going to help Erie out at all."
Erie City Council President Sonya Arrington requested one more public hearing to gather input on the bridge's fate. The request was denied in a 4-3 vote.
"People who don't live on the east side of town and use the bridge, they don't understand,” said Arrington. “Now that they are going to knock it down, that's just going to take more hope away from us on the east side of town."
Even though Erie City Council denied CPR a public hearing, Trott says the group is not giving up on efforts to save the bridge.
“In denying the open and transparent process, instead, they voted to hide all the misinformation,” said Trott. “Now, we have to go higher up to force an open transparent vetting of this issue."
But for now, the bridge is expected to be demolished.