Grand Avenue Bridge Reopens, More Work to be Done

DES MOINES, Iowa  --  There is finally some relief for people who regularly drive to and from Des Moines' East Village: the Grand Avenue bridge is back open.

The bridge has been under construction since it was demolished in September of 2016. City engineers say the nearly century-old structure needed to be replaced.

Commuter Libby Becker says the closure caused her a lot of frustration, but says she's disappointed to see the architecture of the old bridge go.

"I will hate to see a new, efficient, low-cost bridge go in place of the beautiful bridges and arches we have because they are such a big part of going to The Hub and sitting on the river and looking at the bridges," she says.

City officials say the bridge isn't finished yet. Street parking is off-limits and metal panels still need to be installed along the concrete beams to give it more aesthetic appeal.

"The aesthetic part hasn’t really happened yet. It was built into the project and it needs to be installed  on the project," says city engineer Pam Cooksey.

The bridge is expected to be finished by the summer of 2018. City engineers are also planning on rebuilding the Locust Street and Walnut Street bridges. The Locust Street bridge is scheduled to be demolished next fall.