$8M Kissimmee pedestrian bridge to go over JYP

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KISSIMMEE, Fla. —

Kissimmee city officials want to make a stretch of road that nearly tens of thousands of drivers use every day safer for pedestrians.

That's why they're spending $8 million to build a bridge over a bike trail at John Young Parkway near Columbia Avenue.

Some bikers and walkers want to know if there is a cheaper way.

Where one side of the trail ends, six lanes of traffic begin. About 40,000 cars use that section of John Young Parkway.

People took the risk of crossing the street time and time again.

Residents Deveto Brooks and Tahani Fseisi said there needs to be a safer way for people to get across the road because they aren't the only ones without cars.

Especially young people like us. We are either walking or riding (our) bikes. I think we are the future so we need that so that we can stay alive," Fseisi said.

The bridge would be similar to the one in Orange County that spans Semoran Boulevard by Aloma Avenue.

That bridge cost Orange County nearly $6 million. Pedestrians need to be on the trail in order to access it.

A spokesperson for Kissimmee said the bridge will be accessible to anyone, whether they're using the trail or not.

One man was not convinced $8 million was needed to cross the street when there are other options.

"Just put up some signs and a crosswalk. Eight million dollars to get from there to there?" Mark, who did not want to give his last name, said.

The city said the bridge should be done by December 2014.

The state Department of Transportation is picking up most of the cost for the project, but the city of Kissimmee still needs to chip in $300,000.