TOUGH CHOICE: City Deciding 115-Year-Old Bridge’s Fate

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Des Moines City Council members are faced with the fate of a 115-year-old bridge.

“We’ve basically got two decisions.  One is to demolish the bridge or restore the bridge,” said Councilman Skip Moore.

Moore said restoring the bridge will cost around $4-million but only around $750,000 to tear it down.

The pedestrian bridge has been closed since March but in the next few months, the city will have to decide either to spend the millions fixing the bridge or instead, use the money for higher priority items.

“We’ve got neighborhoods without sidewalks; we’ve got curbs and gutters.  How would you explain to them that we are going to put approximately $4-million into restoring a bridge but not take care of their infrastructure?” Moore said.

The city could direct the money set aside for demolition instead to a group that would raise the rest of the money to restore the bridge.