Florida Keys News
Sunday, August 25, 2013
Foot bridge project floated
Girl presents $132K 'Rainbow Pride' idea

A 10-year-old Fort Lauderdale girl is pitching her "Rainbow Pride Bridge" plan to city leaders as a way to connect the island to Sunset Key at the foot of Duval Street via an 850-foot long foot bridge.

"To celebrate equality for everyone," Adelle Brasky-Moore said at Tuesday night's City Commission meeting at Old City Hall, 510 Greene St.

"The bridge will celebrate diversity with the colors of the rainbow flag."

The price tag is $132,500, which Brasky-Moore calculated using the estimate of $150 per square foot for labor and materials.

Fundraising and the state could kick in most of the bridge budget, she said, while the city could pay $50,000.

The idea of linking Sunset Key to Key West with a foot bridge isn't exactly on the commission's radar.

But after receiving a copy of Brasky-Moore's bridge plan recently, Commissioner Jimmy Weekley invited the girl and her parents down to Key West from South Florida's mainland to present the plan in person.

"She sent this to all of us," Weekley said to his colleagues on the dais Tuesday immediately after Brasky-Moore's presentation.

"When I saw it, I said what a wonderful project this could be for the city at Admiral's Cut, if we can bring this to reality.

"This would be a perfect location for that."

Weekley added that the city hasn't negotiated any kind of agreement with the Walsh family, which developed the private island accessible only by a ferry that is met at the docks by security.

By PowerPoint, Brasky-Moore, a dark-haired girl with glasses, ticked off the reasons Key West is perfect for her design, from its tropical tourist destination status to its reputation for acceptance of people from all walks of life.

"Also, my parents are gay," the child said.

Only one question came from the commissioners after Brasky-Moore's pitch.

"How do you plan on getting $50,000 out of the city of Key West?" Commissioner Teri Johnston asked the girl, as the audience laughed.

The kid held up under questioning, quietly replying, "Fundraising and budget savings," into the microphone.

Brasky-Moore said $50,000 could be raised by selling a spot for people's names at $100 a pop, and she detailed the quality and sturdy history of the arch-type bridge.

"I love the idea," City Manager Bob Vitas said. "It's worth exploring."

An architect at the meeting to present options for restoring the Frederick Douglass Gym in Bahama Village complimented Brasky-Moore, telling her she had vision.

"If the city will see fit to donate the $50,000 to the bridge, my firm will donate the design fees," said Andrew Hayes of Hayes Cumming architects of St. Petersburg, Fla.

"You've got his number?" Commissioner Clayton Lopez asked Vitas.

"I've got his invoice," Vitas replied.

gfilosa@keysnews.com

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