Locust Street Bridge Closes for Construction

DES MOINES, Iowa  --  At 9:00 Monday morning, the Locust Street bridge in downtown Des Moines will close for construction.

The bridge and Locust Street between Second Avenue and Robert D. Ray Drive will be closed until the end of 2019.

The bridge replacement is one of four new bridges in the city’s “Bridges to Opportunities” project. The total project will cost $22 million.

“The new bridge will be a 446-foot, four span, concrete beamed bridge,” Des Moines City Engineer Steve Naber said.

Naber said the construction is not because the bridge is unsafe, but the city is replacing them as a precautionary measure.

“Some of the key members of the bridge were identified to have some structural deficiencies including some spalling and loss of… section loss of the reinforcement of the bridge,” Naber said.

The bridge will look almost identical to the new Grand Avenue bridge with the concrete beams and scalloped sides.

In 2014 and 2015 the city worked with an aesthetic review committee that consisted of the State Historical Preservation Office, Greater Des Moines Public Art Foundation and a number of local architects.

“[The committee] looked at the design of the bridge and developed a concept with that kind of gives the bridge a scalloped effect kind of mimicking arches and then there will be LED lighting that runs along the scallops kind of highlighting them,” Naber said.

During the year and a half this bridge is closed to the public, traffic will detour to the new Grand Avenue bridge, East 4th Street and 2nd Avenue.