Fonmeadow residents see relief from bridge woes

Residents in Fonmeadow in Missouri City will finally see their dilapidated pedestrian bridge demolished after nearly four years of lobbying its removal. City Council approved an agreement with the Harris County Flood Control District on Feb. 15 to remove the bridge over Willow Waterhole Bayou and split the cost evenly.

Fonmeadow residents sought the bridge’s replacement due to safety concerns about the structure’s stability, Fonmeadow Homeowners Association board President Jo Ann Miller said. Despite warnings from the Fonmeadow HOA, children and adults continue to use the wood and metal bridge.

“It started off us thinking that we needed to have boards replaced, but we incurred the cost of having an engineering study done and found that the bridge needed to be replaced,” Miller said.

She said residents had brought up the issue at past council meetings.

Assistant City Manager Scott Elmer told council at a meeting in October that neither Missouri City nor the Flood Control District had records of either building or maintaining the bridge.

City Manager Anthony Snipes and City Council member Yolanda Ford worked on the agreement with the Flood Control District and residents, Snipes said. The demolition will cost $11,500 or $5,750 each for the city and Flood Control District.

Fonmeadow residents live in Missouri City but fall within Harris County’s jurisdiction, making it difficult for the parties to determine who was responsible for the bridge’s repair, Miller said.

“Basically we were told that it was the community’s responsibility,” Miller said.

Kim Jackson, spokesperson for the Flood Control District, said the agency was concerned about the bridge collapsing and obstructing the waterway below. The agreement is only to remove the bridge.

No funding has been established to replace the structure and neither Miller nor Missouri City has confirmed a timeframe to do so. The Flood Control District will not participate in the bridge’s replacement, only its removal, Jackson said.

The office is working to finalize a demolition contract with Cherry Company, which Jackson said on Feb. 18 could be imminent. Elmer told City Council the work should take no more than two days from start to finish.

“I can say that the board and I are very happy that we’ve reached this pinnacle,” Miller said. “It’s a great relief for all of us.”