North Center Street bridge to be demolished, reconstructed

T-R FILE PHOTO Pictured is the G13 bridge, which is set to be demolished and rebuilt in early 2019 because it currently only has a 15-ton gross weight limit, which restricts traffic to that area.

The current North Center Street bridge will be a thing of the past this time next year. Tuesday morning, the Marshall County Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a Secondary Road Department agreement between the City of Marshalltown, Marshall County and the Iowa DOT for work on the G13 bridge, which crosses the Iowa River on North Center Street.

“The G13 has a 15-ton gross weight limit and the (neighboring) G10 has a 10-ton gross weight limit, but a fully-loaded semi can weigh 40,000 pounds (20 tons), so the bridges are structurally deficient,” Marshall County Engineer Paul Geilenfeldt said.

Geilenfeldt said both bridges are set for demolition in early 2019, to be rebuilt superior to the current ones.

“The traffic on the road is mostly the Marshalltown Water Works,” he said. “And they see around 820 vehicles on it per day.”

The agreement voted on at Tuesday’s meeting only directly pertained to the G13 bridge.

“What this agreement really does is spells out that the county will be the lead government agency for administrating the project and dealing with the funds; the grant funding actually is the city bridge fund,” Geilenfeldt said. “This rescinds a previous agreement because when we started this process, the SWAP funding deal hadn’t even started yet because the project number was changed. This just lets us be in control of paying the claims and the project vouchers as the project progresses. It doesn’t spell out the specifics of the project.”

With construction work to begin in the coming months, Geilenfeldt said they want to make sure a contract is in place that would allow them to start the work as soon as the weather would allow because it would most likely require the entire construction season to tear down and rebuild both bridges.

The project will cost approximately $1.5-1.7 million.

“We are working on details to fund it and make sure everything can get paid for,” he said.

With the bridges closed for repairs, traffic to that area would have to be rerouted northward. Geilenfeldt said larger trucks currently are being routed via Highway 14 because of the bridges’ weight restrictions.

The G13 bridge will be rebuilt with fencing, aimed at restricting access to the water, as a safety measure.

“Right now, our only stumbling block is the waterline hanging on the G13 bridge; it’s a 24-inch line. We have been working off the idea the waterline was going to be able to be cut off because there’s alternative lines that go in, but right now, that is not for sure, so if this thing has to remain in service throughout the construction, it makes things a lot more complicated as far as the staging,” Geilenfeldt said. “And there is an actual gas line hanging next to the waterline, so we’re in contact with utilities and we’re going to try to get as many things relocated before we even begin the project.”

The next Marshall County Board of Supervisors meeting is set for 9 a.m. Oct. 16 on the second floor of the Great Western Bank Building, 11 N. First Ave.

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Contact Sara Jordan-Heintz at

(641) 753-6611 or sjordan@timesrepublican.com