An artist’s rendition of the proposed Highway 305 pedestrian bridge. (Image courtesy of the city of Bainbridge Island)

An artist’s rendition of the proposed Highway 305 pedestrian bridge. (Image courtesy of the city of Bainbridge Island)

Bainbridge council flip-flops on controversial 305 bridge

Bainbridge’s “Bridge to Nowhere” is back.

In a surprise reversal Tuesday, the Bainbridge Island City Council voted 4-3 to renew discussion of the controversial pedestrian/bicycle bridge over Highway 305 near Vineyard Lane.

The city council voted 5-2 last week to kill the project, but at this week’s council meeting, the $3 million bridge was brought back to life by Councilwoman Sarah Blossom and Councilman Joe Deets.

Both Blossom and Deets voted on Jan. 2 to abandon the plan for the proposed concrete span over the highway, but flipped their votes when reconsideration of the bridge was added to the council agenda at the start of the meeting.

The council voted 4-3 to reconsider its earlier decision on the bridge, with Councilmen Mike Scott and Kol Medina joining Blossom and Deets.

Councilmembers Ron Peltier, Matthew Tirman and Rasham Nassar voted no.

That vote was followed by another to rescind the decision to cancel the bridge project, with another 4-3 decision falling along the same lines.

The bridge project is expected to be discussed at next week’s council study session.

Peltier said he was unaware the bridge was going to be added to the agenda before it came up Tuesday night.

“A number of bridge supporters were in attendance in anticipation of the vote, clearly aware it would be happening in advance,” Peltier said in an email Wednesday.

Tirman said he will continue to fight the project, which many have criticized as a waste of federal and city dollars. Opponents of the project contend that the bridge location is a poor choice and will be little used by the public.

“This is frustrating going from a 5-2 vote to cancel last week to a 4-3 vote for the council to reconsider,” Tirman said in an email to the Review.

“I still contend that the bridge is in the wrong place, and we need to be far more thoughtful about the use of city general funds. I will continue to push to reallocate the budget for this project for other more pressing multi-modal needs,” he added.

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