Ownership transfer, grants, contracts and right-of-way permissions in hand — work to prepare Davenport's Elm Street bridge for demolition and reconstruction began this week.
Crews began site preparation work on the long-awaited project, including removing site obstructions and making the site ready for demolition activities, according to the city of Davenport.
Bridge work is estimated to be complete this fall.
City officials in January awarded the lowest bid of $2.68 million from Brandt Construction Company to replace the Elm Street bridge between Eastern Avenue and Jersey Ridge Road. The condition of the bridge, built in 1937, has deteriorated over the years, prompting the city to close it in May of 2018 because of safety concerns. The city also closed the East 13th Street bridge between Mound and Kuehl streets.
The city of Davenport, which had long pushed for the repair and maintenance of railroad overpasses, took ownership of the railroad bridges in 2019 in an agreement with Canadian Pacific Railroad. In addition to the transfer of ownership, Canadian Pacific Rail provided the city with $1.9 million in seed money to support needed structural repairs to the bridges.
However, the money was only enough for the city to move ahead with the replacement of one of the bridges; not both. City officials have estimated the cost to repair both bridges at about $6 million.
The city prioritized replacement of the Elm Street bridge before the 13th Street bridge due to higher traffic volumes on Elm Street.
Davenport also received a grant from the Iowa Department of Transportation that will reimburse the city 80% of eligible costs up to $1 million to offset the cost of repairs.
Davenport Alderman Matt Dohrmann, Ward 5, who represents the area will hold a neighborhood meeting at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 8 at the 13th Street bridge to gather input from neighbors on what they would like to see come of the bridge.
"How they use it. What they would like to see done with it," Dohrmann said. "And that is going to help us in our design proposal and as we work on getting that bridge replaced."
In other city of Davenport construction developments:
Intersection safety improvements are set to begin at North Division Street and Northwest Boulevard on Monday, April 5. As a result, Division Street will be reduced to one lane in each direction through the intersection. And travel on Northwest Boulevard will be limited through the intersection in following weeks.
The intersection will be turned into a four-way stop for the duration of the project, which will widen the intersection, improve the shoulder, install designated left-turn lanes and upgrade traffic signals. All work is estimated to be complete by late June.
Roughly 80% of the project was funded through a grant from the Iowa DOT Traffic Safety Improvement Program.
Lane reductions are in place on Tremont Avenue north and south of East 53rd Street, along with a new lane restriction for westbound lanes on East 53rd Street near Brady Street to allow for the reconstruction of a driveway to a local business and sidewalk installation.