Grand Avenue Bridge Replacement

Grand Avenue over Des Moines River Bridge


The Grand Avenue Bridge was constructed in 1918 and last rehabilitated in 1968. The structurally deficient, scour-critical bridge has experienced an increase in the rate and the magnitude of deterioration over the years. Components of the bridge are severely deteriorated, resulting in significant concrete spalling, cracking, and delamination. The existing bridge has been completely removed and replaced.

The new bridge will be a 446 ft., four-span, concrete beam bridge with concrete stem piers and semi-integral abutments, all with driven steel piling into bedrock. The new bridge will have one less river pier than the existing bridge and will improve the bridge river hydraulics. The bridge will support two lanes of traffic (1-WB, 1-EB), separated bicycle lanes, and parking on both sides of the bridge.  The bridge sidewalks will be widened to 14 ft. on both sides. The bridge will feature a painted metal aesthetic panels on the exterior of the bridge to hide the bridge beams.  These panels will be uniquely bent to create a sweeping arch look across each span.  LED accent lighting will be incorporated behind the panels and are featured on the bridge railing.  New LED street lighting is also added.

The bridge is currently OPEN to vehicular traffic.  Currently, only the south bridge sidewalk is open.  The north bridge sidewalk remains closed as well as all of the parking remains closed while the bridge remains under construction.  The Principal Riverwalk Trails on the west side of the river also remain closed.  Work will continue through the winter and the remaining work will be completed in the spring.  The bridge will be fully complete in the summer of 2018.


Bridge utility relocation work is ongoing/underway
June 2016 - IDOT Bidding
July 11, 2016 - City Council approves Construction Contract
September 2016 - Anticipated Construction Start
September 19, 2016 – Grand Avenue Bridge and Riverwalk Trails adjacent to bridge closed
December 2017 – Grand Avenue Bridge open to traffic (1-lane each direction)
Summer 2018 – Project Complete



Cramer & Associates, Inc.
3100 SW Brookside Drive
Grimes, Iowa 50111


Please contact us by email or call 515-283-4920.

Project Updates (11)

Grand Ave. Bridge Open - 11-20-17
by B. Cole on November 20, 2017

The Grand Avenue Bridge is OPEN!  The bridge will be open to one lane of vehicular traffic in each direction and pedestrian traffic on the south sidewalk of the bridge only.  Construction will continue through the winter, so portions of the bridge will remain closed.  Public parking will NOT be allowed on the bridge and the bike lanes will remain closed while the contractor proceeds with work.  Also closed is the north bridge sidewalk and the Principal Riverwalk Trails on the west side of the river.  Please check out the linked .pdf HERE for a few recent pictures of the bridge construction.

Grand Ave. Bridge - 9-11-17 Construction Progress Update
by B. Cole on September 11, 2017

The Grand Ave. Bridge hit a major milestone at the end of August with the structural bridge deck being placed!  Check out a couple of the photos HERE.  Although the deck is placed, there is a lot of work still to go!  The contractor and utility companies are working on connecting existing conduits in the roadway, while work progresses on the bridge wings and bridge sidewalks.  1-lane of traffic is still anticipated to be restored on the bridge in December, pending installation of the bridge railing.

Grand Ave. Bridge - 8-8-17 Construction Progress Update
by B. Cole on August 08, 2017

More progress is being made, check out the latest construction photos HERE!  The last bridge pier was constructed towards the end of June.  After curing of the pier concrete, the remainder of the 100 ft. and 120 ft. long concrete beams were delivered to the job site and lifted into place with two large cranes.  Concurrent with this work, deck formwork has been underway which will support the concrete deck while that reinforcing steel and concrete is being placed.  Due to the large concrete quantities, the deck will be placed in two pours.  The first deck pour should occur before the end of the month.  The project is still on schedule to have 1-lane of traffic in each direction before the end of the year.   

Grand Ave. Bridge - 6-16-17 Construction Progress Update
by B. Cole on June 16, 2017

Another milestone is almost complete!  The last bridge pier is about 75% complete.  The last pier piles were driven last week along with the pier footing being poured.  The pier stem wall is currently being formed and reinforcing steel placed.  Bridge deck forming has continued to progress on the west side of the bridge.  Once the last pier is complete, the contractor is anticipating placing the remaining concrete bridge beams in early July and will then work on finishing the bridge deck forming.  Check out some construction photos HERE.

Grand Ave. Bridge - 3-28-17 Construction Progress Update
by B. Cole on March 28, 2017 The contractor is continuing to make good progress during March.  Pier #2 was completed with the temporary cofferdam removed.  A new temporary bridge was installed to help with river flows for contractor to access area to remove the last pier from the old bridge and begin cofferdam construction for the last new pier.  Twelve (12) 100 ft. concrete beams were set in the west end span and twelve (12) 120 ft. concrete beams were set in the west interior span.  Check out a few Progress Photos HERE.
Grand Ave. Bridge - 3-6-17 Construction Update
by B. Cole on March 06, 2017

Construction is approximately 40% complete for the new bridge construction.  The abutment caps are complete at both the west and east abutment.  Pier #1 is complete.  Pier #2 is scheduled to be complete by the end of the week and then work will shift to constructing Pier #3.  The new concrete beams have been fabricated with the first batch staged for shipment to the site, when the contractor is ready to begin setting them in place.  Construction progress photos are attached HERE.

Grand Ave Bridge - 1-6-17 Construction Progress
by B. Cole on January 06, 2017

Construction is continuing to progress, despite the cold weather.  The contractor has completed pile driving on the west pier and has poured concrete for the west pier footing.  They are now working on the pier stem wall forming and then will transition to pile driving and footing construction on the center pier.  Concurrently, the east abutment continues to have reinforcing steel and formwork placed for the abutment pedestal.  See attached progress photos HERE.

Grand Ave - Construction Progress update
by B. Cole on December 07, 2016

Bridge demolition has been progressing well. Approximately 70% of the existing bridge has been removed. The contractor has recently completed driving new steel piles at the east abutment. The steel sheet-pile cofferdam is well under construction for the new west pier and the contractor will begin excavating for the new pier foundation prior to driving new piling. The attached .pdf includes some recent progress photos.

Grand Ave. Bridge --11-3-16 Demolition progress
by Ben Cole on November 03, 2016

Attached are a couple demolition progress photos, .pdf file.

Demolition progress photos
by Ben Cole on October 05, 2016

Demolition is underway! Included here are a few demolition progress photos.

Grand Avenue Bridge Set to Close September 19
by Ben Cole on September 19, 2016

Effective Sept. 19, Grand Avenue between 2nd Avenue and Robert D. Ray Drive has been closed to all traffic with signed detour routes available. The signed detour route uses Walnut Street, although other downtown bridges will remain open. Detour signage is also available for the Principal Riverwalk, as portions of that trail are closed for the bridge construction. The new bridge is expected to be open to traffic in late 2017.

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