The city of Mentor likely won't have a "bridge to nowhere" for much longer.
About $250,000 has been set aside in the city's proposed 2013 budget for the demolition of an unfinished and eroding bridge in the southwest portion of the Mentor Lagoons Marina near Coronada Drive.
The 185-foot bridge has no beginning or end, just a middle that stands over the water near the Mentor-on-the-Lake border. Its construction began in the 1920s but the Great Depression ended the project.
It was intended to connect to a residential development that never was, and never will be, built.
"It's not a structure that's useful in any way or has any future utility," Mentor City Manager Kenneth Filipiak.
However, the city's concern is not that the bridge is worthless; it's that dilapidated bridge could be dangerous.
"It's slowly eroding and it will become more of a danger over time," Filipiak said. "It won't collapse tomorrow but it is slowly corroding. And we don't want to wait until it possesses an immediate threat."
Specifically, the bridge would be a danger to boaters because there is no way for a pedestrian to reach it.
The city is trying to find ways to make the demolition less expensive. For example, it is searching for applicable grants -- thus far, without success.
Filipiak said the city might also be willing to barter the value of the bridge's scrap steel if it would decrease the demolition's cost.
Finally, the city is looking for partners who might be willing to pay for a portion of the bridge's demolition.
"I'm not giving up hope that the county might be willing to share some cost," Filipiak said.
Filipiak noted that the county actually paid for a portion of the bridge's construction, according to an old newspaper article. However, the Great Depression prevented a private investor from finishing the job.
The 2013 budget is not finalized or approved yet, so it is possible that plans could change.
However, if Mentor City Council does approve the proposed budget, then the bridge's demolition will begin next year, Filipiak said.