CHARLES CITY — The bridge built early in the 20th century to carry cargo trains that much later became part of the Charley Western Trailway for walkers, joggers, bicyclists and more must go down and soon.
A new bridge, however, should take its place.
That’s the message City Administrator Steve Diers is bringing to the City Council tonight during its planning session, which begins at 6 p.m. tonight at City Hall. No official votes are taken at these meetings.
“It has been the unanimous opinion of those individuals that we have discussed the failure of the bridge with (that) there is no realistic way of repairing the bridge, and the bridge must be demolished,” Diers wrote. “We have discussed demolition options and requirements with Calhoun Burns, and they will prepare a separate agreement for designing, preparing bidding documents and obtaining the required permits from the Iowa DNR and Corps of Engineers to work in the Cedar River.”
Calhoun Burns and Associates is the firm the city hired in April to evaluate the bridge’s condition. Then, the center section of the bridge began to fail. The council will discuss necessary changes to that contract. However, it already included the preparation of a pre-design cost opinion for the construction of a new trail bridge at the same location, Diers said.
“We also want to have Calhoun Burns prepare a cost opinion of a combination roadway/trail bridge to get an idea of the additional bridge cost if we would construct a street between South Grand Avenue and Clark Street.”
An agreement will be on the May 1 City Council meeting agenda for approval of the professional services for the demolition.
The trailway bridge has also been used by emergency vehicles that need to cross the river during times that flooding shuts down upstream bridges near downtown Charles City, according to Diers.
Click the link below for the memo from Diers