Further comments on the River Greenway Project in Sioux Falls

Image: Courtesy City of Sioux Falls

The Argus did a story on the expansion of the River Greenway project and got a couple of quotes from Detroit Lewis, while they are accurate, I would like to expand on what I was talking about;

“I’m all for a greenway project in there, but that pedestrian bridge is a gigantic waste of money,” said Scott Ehrisman, a Sioux Falls resident and frequent critic of City Hall. “A million for a pedestrian bridge is a little silly. I think you could do with a half-million and clean up that whole area and be done with it.”

I went on to say that I am all for fixing up the Greenway (bike path, foresty, vegetation, etc.) I just think that the pricetag is out of line. I also got into a discussion about the the amphitheater being planned at Fawick park and questioned the need for another one a couple of blocks north. It is also no secret that this bridge was planned when everyone thought there would be an Events Center next to Cherapa Place (which is still a possibility – see the faint drawing of it in the background of the above image?) but since that is no where in the future to be seen, I think we can hold off building the yellow brick road over the river. As I said to Tom in the interview;

“First off, what is the purpose of building an amphitheater if we are already building one at Fawick, which I believe is a better location, and secondly, why do we need to build a million dollar bridge at that location when you can walk a half a block in either direction and cross the river? Talk about waste.”

Of course, the spend happy city has an excuse for everything;

“I think it’s pretty reasonably priced, and people have to realize that this is being driven by the private sector,” Kearney said. “It’s their desire to develop the area, and we’re just coming along and implementing a plan that we’ve had on the shelf.”

If it is being driven by them, why not let them pay for it to? Will a million dollar pedestrian bridge at that location benefit the citizens or the developers? I think we know the answer to that question.

Critics say more needs to be done in the downtown core, including projects that enliven Phillips Avenue and engender more events at the Washington Pavilion.

“I just don’t see how putting in a pedestrian bridge is going to help downtown,” Ehrisman said. “I think there’s a lot better things to do downtown than building steps down to the river. I see so many better options.”

Like I mentioned above, I think improving trails in that area is a good idea, but I am not grasping how people would be attracted to Cherapa Place. I feel we must expand out from the core area (11th & Phillips) instead of all this spotty development, here and there. We were told over 5 years ago if we build Phillips to the Falls, “They will come.” Uh, we are still waiting. All we need to do is look and see how that boondoggle turned out to know that this is one to. Why do you think people continue to vote down rec centers, indoor pools and event centers? Because when the city plans something, it is always way to extravagant, and this project is further proof of it.

“I know people say, ‘Hey, they’re doing it all for Scherschligt,’ but our goal is the city’s goal. You can’t just quit your vision. This project’s been in the works for 10 to 20 years, before the economy went sour and well before the potholes.”

Well, if your goal is the city’s goal, pony up. I think if you want a million dollar bridge, pay for half. Prove your goals are the city’s goals with your wallet instead of your mouth. It is no secret that you have a contract with the city that was concocted long before you (tried) to blow up the ZIP feed mill, Quen Be De Knudson even admitted to it in an City council informational meeting. Munson, or someone at city hall, promised you everything but the kitchen sink. If I was the next mayor, the first thing I would do is rip that contract to shreds and re-plan a more economical greenway expansion, one that doesn’t include handouts to Mr. Scherschligt.


#1 CCFlyer on 03.20.10 at 8:44 am

I wish you would have said something about the Events Center for it Downtown, and how you also knew that bridge was planned for it.

I’m just curious, do you know Kermit’s view on the location of the EC?

#2 l3wis on 03.20.10 at 8:51 am

I did talk to Thomas about that, and that is exactly what I told him, that the bridge was planned for a DT EC.

#3 CCFlyer on 03.20.10 at 9:12 am

Did he not put it in the interview though? And ya what are Kermit’s views on its location?

#4 l3wis on 03.20.10 at 9:38 am

We talked for almost a 1/2 hour. I was hoping he would have put that in there to.

I have discussed it with Kermit, but I forget most of what he said. I think he said something to the fact to where it would make the most economic impact. I don’t think he really has a favorite location.

#5 Sy on 03.20.10 at 9:44 am


” one that doesn’t include handouts to Mr. Scherschligt.”

The same “evil” guy who kept the option open for the City to build the EC on that land at a price frozen for a decade at what he paid for it. Show me anyone else who’s done anything close to that. Check out what downtown parcels are selling for per sf, even in today’s market. That site is actualy the cheapest by far for an EC, especially if you factor in the hairbrained TF plan to move HWF. It’s cheaper than Sanford’s donated land as well. If it ever goes in down there you can be assured of two things:

A. Scherslight will have saved the City several million in associated project costs.

B. Once again, he will have picked an option that puts less money in his pocket then had he developed the land into a mixed use, multi-phase development, which is his actual plan B.

If everyone who does business with the City had treated us the same way as Jeff, we’d have a multimillion dollar surplus in place to help build the EC.

#6 scott on 03.20.10 at 10:11 am

funny how we need to develop the river now, considering how this past week the city told keloland news the greenway was developed to control flooding. which is it?

#7 Plaintiff Guy on 03.20.10 at 10:21 am

Due to the economy, I just don’t see events center planning anytime in the next 5 years. The city has proven itself incompetant with both bridges and tunnels. Any excavation, disruption, or byflow of the river could trigger a cost prohibitive toxic cleanup from the sediment settled peacefully at the bottom.

This is but another method for the dictator mayor to steer taxpayer dollars into corrupt enterprises before the end of his term. Just leave already. The next mayor will have the huge mess you’ve created to clean up. He’ll be lucky if he can afford hole-punched TP for city hall much less major projects such as this.

#8 Poly43 on 03.20.10 at 12:27 pm

From the Argus.

The project found its funding in a contentious action last May by the City Council, which voted 5-3 to sell $18.5 million in bonds to pay for quality-of-life projects. That vote included $5 million for the greenway, $4.3 million for a new west-side library, $4.2 million for a junior football complex and $2.5 million in Great Plains Zoo master-plan improvements.

I’m guessin I know how Kermit and Anderson voted. Who was the third?

And a million dolar footbridge that leads to the doorstep of Cherapa Place? Hmmmm. How convenient. Is there any reason why the old railroad tracks cannot be modified for foot travel? Gotta be a lot cheaper.

Articles like this are worth thousands in promotional advertising for Kermit. Keep up the great work Argus.

#9 CCFlyer on 03.20.10 at 1:15 pm

So are they NOT doing the Amphitheater at Fawick Park? Or is this the Amphitheater at Cherapa?

#10 Scott on 03.20.10 at 2:21 pm

Two amphitheaters? Hahhahaha!

And I guarantee that the only promoters allowed to use either will be officially-sanctioned friends of the city.

#11 EggBert on 03.20.10 at 6:22 pm

Hi there:

Get off their backs! These city adminstrators know what they are doing with this bridge. Geesh! How the Hades can we get across the river without a bridge built? WHY do we need a bridge built down there, anyway? To get to the other side, of course…DUH!!! Some people are just igno-ranting idiots…


EggBert & Bridge Builders of the Future (to get across the river to roost)

#12 l3wis on 03.20.10 at 9:30 pm

“Two amphitheaters? Hahhahaha!”

Yeah, no shit huh?

#13 CCFlyer on 03.21.10 at 10:36 am

So then what exactly is going on with the other one?

Oh, and if I were a business owner, the only way I would put my business Downtown, is if there was ANOTHER bridge. I mean come on, if the city doesn’t spend more money on another bridge to connect really nothing, that will definitely bring in customers!

#14 Ghost of Dude on 03.22.10 at 8:08 am

Critics say more needs to be done in the downtown core, including projects that enliven Phillips Avenue and engender more events at the Washington Pavilion.

How about developing Main Ave, or 8th St, or Dakota Ave? Sure it’s nice to have several places to walk between on Phillips, but to turn DT into an entertainment district that’s active after 6pm, there needs to be more than just Phillips Ave. and the occaisional show at the pavillion.
There need to be more restaurants, more bars with stages for bands, a small movie/stage theatre, and more places open past 6pm.

#15 l3wis on 03.22.10 at 8:11 am

Right?! I have often wondered what sleepy lives DT business owners have if they can’t be open past 6 PM?

#16 anominous on 03.22.10 at 11:11 pm

Is this where the elves get on their boat at?

#17 l3wis on 03.23.10 at 12:38 am


Leave a Comment