DES MOINES, Iowa – The city of Des Moines is closing a downtown trail bridge to begin a rehabilitation project Monday.
The SW 1st Street Multi-use Trail Bridge is a popular path for cyclists and pedestrians who use the Meredith Trail.
Des Moines City Engineer Steven Naber said the bridge was once used for vehicle traffic, but was re-adapted in 2006 for pedestrian use.
“The SW 1st street multi-use trail bridge was originally constructed in 1937 as a vehicle bridge. It's actually known as River Side Drive. The last repairs that were done on it were in 1974,” Naber said.
The bridge will undergo repairs to its joints, deck, arches, substructures, new concrete and more.
Mullets employee Elizabeth Kirkman said this is the first she is hearing of the bridge closure and it will impact business.
“Just because not everyone will know right away. It is also hard to post every single day and let people know ‘hey we are still open.’ Just because we get so busy during the summer, but we will try our best to let everyone know that we are open and go through the biking community. Hopefully everyone spread the word,” Kirkman said.
The bridge work is funded in part by the Federal Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grant. The grant is also funding the Locust Street bridge replacement and Court Avenue rehabilitation.
“The bridge is a critical connection in the trail system. A trail system that serves over 300,000 users each year. We are posting a detour for the Meredith Trail that we use the Fifth Street bridge,” Naber said.
A detour route is in place for people who use the Meredith Trail. The city asks people to use the 5th Street Bridge for the time-being.
The SW 1st Street Bridge is anticipated to open in December 2019.