I stopped to talk with the contractor responsible for replacing this footbridge. Simple, right?
Uhm, no. Few things in life are truly as simple as they seem. Part of what made this job more difficult was because it had to be built in an area certified as wetlands. But this area also serves as part of the plan to mitigate the effects of storm water runoff from a nearby housing development. AND, on top of all that, the drainage pipes running underneath the bridge had been crushed. So, of course, they had to be dug up and replaced.
Fortunately, the contractor had experience in all these areas and was able--amazingly enough!--to get the job done in just a matter of days. He also thought it might have been a nice touch to install solar-powered lights. But, alas, no one wanted to foot the bill for those. So it is what it is, and a very nice change from the rotting footbridge it replaced.