The crumbling South Broadway bridge that arches over railroad tracks near 34th Street may be torn down.
City officials said Tuesday that they hope to get state approval for a new steel arch bridge that would carry traffic over the tracks slightly west of the existing bridge.
It would cost an estimated $8.3 million and take more than a year to build.
It's just one of several options the city's consultants, MKEC Engineering Consultants Inc., looked into.
The arch concept would require Broadway to close for about two months — the shortest of all the options.
City Engineer Jim Armour said the easiest and cheapest option would be to replace the bridge where it is now. But that would shut down traffic on the street more than a year.
That stretch of Broadway handles about 14,000 vehicles a day.
The bridge was temporarily shut down three years ago after the city re-inspected it following The Eagle's reporting about bridge conditions, which was prompted by the collapse of the I-35 bridge in Minneapolis, Minn.
In 2002, the bridge received a sufficiency rating of 2 out of 100. Another inspection in 2004 listed it as an 87. But city officials didn't believe it and posted a 10-ton limit on the bridge.
That limit has been routinely ignored.
The 800-foot-long bridge was closed in August 2007, and traffic was directed to 31st Street, to Gold Street to MacArthur Road, which led to congestion and drivers cutting through residential neighborhoods. It was reopened weeks later after quick repair work.
Armour said the cheapest option would be to tear the bridge down and install an at-grade crossing.
But that would be a safety problem because Broadway crosses the tracks at an angle that would make it difficult to see oncoming trains, Armour said.