Apr 21, 2023 - News

Des Moines' Guthrie bridge to get a makeover

Deteriorating concrete is among the problems long-cited by Guthrie Avenue Viaduct inspectors. The bridge is also the answer to yesterday's "Where's Jason" contest, won by Axios DSM reader Bert Drost of WDM. Photo: Jason Clayworth/Axios

The Guthrie Avenue Viaduct over the Union Pacific Railroad is getting a $6.5 million makeover next year.

Why it matters: It connects businesses and neighborhoods on the city's northeast side, but has been listed as being in "fair/poor" condition by city inspectors since 2019.

Catch up fast: The four-lane bridge was built in 1978 and has since gone through other high-priority repairs.

  • A joint replacement and strengthening project was completed in 2015, but a more extensive rehab was postponed.

What's happening: The City Council approved an agreement with the Iowa Department of Transportation last month for the larger makeover, with a federal grant paying $2 million of the bill.

  • Decking will be repaired and lanes reconfigured to add a 10-foot-wide trail section along the bridge's south side.
  • The city also plans to update traffic signals and reconstruct the Delaware Avenue intersection.

What's next: Construction is expected to begin next year and be completed in 2025.

  • The repairs will extend the functional life of the bridge up to 25 years.

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