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March 4, 2020
The downtown Eighth Street bridge will close to traffic March 16 as part of a major reconstruction that also will include improvements along the River Greenway.
Initial construction is scheduled to begin March 9 but won’t involve a closure.
“The bridge is pretty unique,” said Dena Knutson, the city’s project manager and civil engineer. “It’s a soil-filled bridge. So we’re removing the surface and taking out the granular fill in the middle and fixing the deteriorated concrete and putting it back together.”
The 243-foot long bridge dates back to 1912 and most recently saw major improvements in the 1970s.
Journey Group, which did the work back then, also is the general contractor on this project through its SFC Civil Constructors division.
Here’s a look at the progression of work:
The city will hold an open house to answer questions from 5 to 6 p.m. Friday at the Main Library downtown and will meet with impacted businesses that day too.
“We want them to have some one-on-one time with us … and we anticipate we will be in a lot of communication with the businesses throughout the project,” city engineer Chad Huwe said.
Access to businesses such as Cherapa Place, the Hilton Garden Inn, the Country Inn & Suites and 8thh & Railroad Center will be available by traveling from the east along Eighth Street, and Reid Street will stay open to provide a connection to 10th Street.
You can see detailed vehicle detour options here:
And pedestrian detour options here:
“There are a lot of options,” Knutson said. “The pedestrian bridges across the river really help, so it’s not an exceptionally long detour.”
The plan is to have the bridge open for traffic by late fall.
The adjacent Greenway improvements haven’t been firmly scheduled yet and could extend into next year. They include a viewing area for the Arc of Dreams, flexible program space and improvements to Pioneer Plaza.
The bridge also will receive enhanced lighting, including the ability to light underneath it and change colors.
The closure will be the only major construction project downtown this season, Huwe said. There will be some short-duration work done at intersections and 45 new 5G cell towers installed, plus a closure of Fourth Street by the Law Enforcement Center and jail.
The overlay work on Sixth Street was done last year in anticipation of increased traffic there during the bridge project, he said.
Construction season is approaching fast: Here’s what you need to know about what’s coming for Eighth Street and the River Greenway.