Grand Avenue Bridge Delayed Until Winter - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Grand Avenue Bridge Delayed Until Winter

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By: Claire Powell

The Grand Avenue bridge was supposed to be done September 27th, but Friday, it was announced that the date would be pushed back.

It wouldn't be finished until November 29th, at the earliest, and possibly could extend into mid-December.

The project that started in late March, has had a lot of delays including asbestos, heavy boulders and an archaeological find.

"There was a lot of planning, but it just goes to show you no matter how much you plan you can run into issues and it is really frustrating. It's frustrating for the businesses, the residential neighbors that live here, frustrating for the contractors, the city," said Christine Hensley, Des Moines City Council. 

The overflow of traffic is now causing congestion on the detour routes near 56th Street and other side streets.

"When you live in a neighborhood, and you know there's a shorter route, you're going to take that route instead of the detour and that's exactly what's happened your seeing a lot of extra traffic," said Hensley. 

"It's definitely been a lot of congestion, definitely during the school year last year and now that schools picked up it's even worse," said Brian Beers who lives along 56th Street.

"There for at least three weeks, I noticed there was no movement, no workers doing anything, so we're wondering whys it taking so long, what's the hold up?" said Bernard Ortiz, another neighbor to the bridge.

Not only is the bridge affecting surrounding residents, but businesses next to the bridge are taking a significant hit. 

"Well business is down a lot, an awful lot, more than we had expected... more than 50% so it's very drastic. You know we're a penny business so every little bit helps, but when you're dropping that much it doesn't make much financial sense for us to keep going very long," said Dick Mathson, McDonald's franchisee and owner of the McDonald's along Grand Avenue.

"It's stretched the patience of everybody, nobody is excluded in this, but it's important from a city perspective that we insure that it is a safe quality project that will be here 100 years from now," said Hensley.

Also, the contractor will still be fined $5,000 each day that the bridge is closed after September 27th.


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