DANVILLE - The town of Danville provided an update regarding the walking bridge that will link Riverside Drive and the Madison City Park with Park Avenue in Danville and will become part of the existing Madison-Danville Wellness Trail.

The construction, which began in February, was delayed slightly due to a Public Service District sewer line that had to be moved to facilitate full access to the site.

Town manager Jerry Brown told the council that the crane for the bridge would be transported into town late this week, but the contractor is seeking a parking lot large enough to assemble it. A date for setting the bridge was still unclear but likely in the days shortly following the assembly of the equipment.

The cost of the bridge was originally set at approximately $1.4 million, but a final tally is not yet available. The project is grant funded with matches from the town of Danville and City of Madison.

The council expressed concerns about homeless and/or "backpackers" camping out on the grounds near the bridge, which have been carefully landscaped in anticipation for the steel structure.

"I can guarantee you that isn't going to happen," said Mayor Mark McClure. "I won't let that happen, I promise you that."

Utilizing this bridge, the residents of Danville and Madison will be able to walk from one part of town to the other without concerns about automotive traffic and railroads inhibiting a safe walk. According to officials, it is anticipated that when this bridge opens, the walkability score in the Madison/Danville area will increase and people will see the commitment to improving the overall health of the communities.

Danville is seeking grant money to build a sidewalk from the bridge to Bob Cee City Park. Officials say that they have some coal severance funding to contribute to the project.

In other Town of Danville news, the town is organizing its annual cleanup, which provides citizens of Danville the opportunity to rid their property of appliances and other bulky items. Mayor McClure expressed dissatisfaction with how the initiative went last year and said that, while a date has not been set, the process with which the items are disposed of will change.

"What I wanted last year was to put a dumpster out here and tell our guys that if people in Danville have things they need rid of, if we can do what we can to help clean their property up we will do what we can," he said. "Last year, we had four dumpsters out here and people coming from all over dumping and we can't have that. We need to work out how we are going to do it this time."

Reporter Phil Perry can be reached at pperry@hdmediallc.com or follow him on Twitter @philipdperry.

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