The bridge, which was a vote short of passage in December, met a critical audience last week when a commission committee declined to endorse it, citing a lack of necessity.
The enclosed bridge would join the Augusta Convention Center and its new parking deck. It is a final detail sought by Augusta Riverfront LLC, which operates the convention center, deck and nearby Marriott hotel.
Augusta Riverfront President Paul Simon, who is scheduled to address the commission at a 5 p.m. meeting, said the bridge will ensure that convention attendees cross Reynolds Street safely.
Sales tax funding exists for the project, but its price tag is between $891,561 and $991,561, depending on whether a lighted marquee sign is included.
Commissioner Wayne Guilfoyle, who seconded a motion in August to allow the bridge, said its inclusion was a concession the city made while negotiating a better and shorter management agreement with Augusta Riverfront on the parking garage.
Guilfoyle said that if the commission doesn’t support funding the bridge, he’d like to see the money spent on repairing broken infrastructure downtown.
Mayor Pro Tem Corey Johnson, who last week expressed uncertainty about the project, won’t be present for today’s vote. Johnson, sustainability manager John Paul Stout and traffic engineer Steve Cassell are attending a Sustainable Communities Leadership Academy in New Orleans, City Administrator Fred Russell said.
Their attendance is a requirement of the city’s 2010 receipt of a $1.8 million federal grant to assist redevelopment of the “priority corridor” in Augusta’s newest master plan, Russell said.
Other items on today’s agenda are:
• Adoption of a new procedure to streamline approval of Housing and Community Development contracts by requiring only the mayor, city administrator and HCD director to sign
• Authorizing the law department to update bylaws for a HCD citizens’ advisory committee
• Authorizing Guilfoyle, who heads the finance committee, to re-establish a subcommittee to study reforming the city tax code.