Strides made in the 6th Street Bridge-Riverfront Improvement Project

Strides made in the 6th Street Bridge-Riverfront Improvement Project

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(ABC 6 News) – A plan decades in the making finally saw some headway as Rochester city officials took strides to begin construction near the Zumbro River.

The 6th Street Bridge-Riverfront Improvement Project is a $29 million investment, with funding coming from federal grants, and Destination Medical Center.

The project includes 3 main components:

  1. A bridge that extends across the Zumbro River.
  2. Riverfront improvements on both sides of the river, including scaling back the current flood walls.
  3. Improvements to keep safety of pedestrians and cyclists on the roads in mind.

“Safety benefits of the project as well as improving what that riverfront access can look like, and even being able to improve the water quality; and what that looks like of the Zumbro River,” said Rochester city project manager Ian Cochran.

Cochran adds the project will make the river “a green and enjoyable space.”

The project does not just include riverfront access; roads and sidewalk improvements are expected along Discovery Walk and South Broadway Avenue.

“We have some initial concepts of what some different trail variations might look like, different ways that we’ll be able to potentially scale back that flood wall,” explained Cochran.

Downtown residents and businesses could see a positive impact on their day-to-day.

“Traffic studies that we’ve done so far show us that traffic is going to increase in that area, regardless if the bridge is built,” said Cochran. “So making sure we’re understanding the concerns, whether it’s traffic mitigation, whether it’s improving safety.”

The timeline between now and when crews break ground in 2026 includes neighborhood meetings, pop-up events and surveys.