Feb 12, 2024 - News

Des Moines' Walnut Street Bridge is coming down

A photo of the Walnut Street Bridge.

Groundwork has already started in preparation to demolish and rebuild the 113-year-old Walnut Street Bridge. Photo: Courtesy of the city of Des Moines

Downtown's Walnut Street Bridge is closing for reconstruction as soon as Feb. 19, months sooner than anticipated because of favorable weather, city spokesperson Devin Perry tells Axios.

Why it matters: The closure will affect downtown traffic.

  • Portions of the Principal Riverwalk and the John Pat Dorrian Trail will be closed until the project is completed in late 2026.

Plus, "Nitefall on the River" concert series remains on hiatus during construction.

Catch up fast: The replacement project's completion was initially anticipated to be last year but was delayed by pandemic-related issues.

  • Some City Council members questioned if the bridge work is necessary after projected costs increased more than 70%, from the $11.2 million pre-pandemic estimate.

State of play: The council ultimately approved a $19.1 million construction contract last month.

A drawing of the Walnut Street Bridge.
The new bridge will have a metal panel facade and, like the current bridge, retain some space for parking. Rendering: Courtesy of the city of Des Moines
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