Commissioners approved the connector bridge over South Monroe Street more than a year ago. Since then, some have voiced their opinion about the seemingly outrageous cost of the bridge.
According to the Tallahassee Democrat, the original estimate has skyrocketed from $2.5 million to more than $5 million.
Tallahassee residents and students have mixed reviews on the project, some believing it’s great for the community, while others believe that the money can be spent elsewhere.
Former Florida A&M student Berkeley Joseph, from West Palm Beach, discussed the positivity that the bridge can potentially bring to the image of the south side of Tallahassee.
“Since I was a student, the south side had a stigma of being the bad side of town,” Berkeley said. “Maybe this is an opportunity for some positive light to shined on the south side.”
City commissioners voted 10-1 to approve the project over a year ago; Leon County Commissioner Bill Proctor was the lone vote against the project.
Commissioner Proctor is not a fan of the connector bridge at all and he believes that the money can be allocated elsewhere in the community. He feels Blueprint 2000; the company in charge of Cascades Park, shouldn’t be spending $7 million on a connector bridge. He refers to the bridge as a “sidewalk in the air,” according to the Tallahassee democrat.
Wasten Jean-Giles, a fourth-year business administration student from Pompano Beach, thinks the city should put all effort into making Tallahassee an attraction, but doesn’t understand why the bridge would cost so much money.
“I don’t have a problem with the bridge, it helps brings something fresh to Tallahassee. It can help with tourism during summer time when the city is empty, which can in turn benefit local businesses during the slow season,” said Giles.
He continued, “The money that’s being spent doesn’t make any sense to me he continued. $7 million is pretty steep for a cross bridge.”
Commissioners have been bamboozled, engineer Juan Goni, told the Tallahassee Democrat. He also added that the increased cost comes from the bridge’s unnecessary eye-catching design.
Julie-Ann Gilliard, a fourth-year business administration student from Orlando, expresses her displeasure with the bridge’s priority.
“I don’t the understand why the bridge is so important at this time honestly,” said Gilliard. “There are a lot of other areas in the community that requires more attention she added.