The bridge to nowhere
In Iowa, United States
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Originally called the "bridge to nowhere" during its construction more than 30 years ago. But for a long 19 days in December 2002, city officials and the citizens of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, found out just how vital this bridge is to the community.
Completed in 1970, this bridge was built with two hollow box-beams that run the entire length of the bridge. The beams are supported by four steel girders located on concrete piers.
For three weeks, nearly 25,000 daily commuters had to find another way to work and to the city's busiest shopping district. And with less than two weeks until Christmas, wintertime weather, and possible delays to the city's emergency response, officials needed to find a quick solution.
With the holiday season approaching quickly and a 5-mile detour adding to commute and emergency response times, a familiar face made repairs.
Appropriately, Des Moines-based Cramer & Associates won the contract for repairs. Formed as Cramer Brothers in the mid-1960s, the company built this bridge nearly 33 years ago, and the son of the man who supervised the original bridge construction would oversee the repair process. It was just the combination of history and experience the city needed to get the job done quickly.
Workers from Cramer & Associates began the repair process on Dec. 23, only 12 days after the bridge was closed to traffic.
With above normal temperatures and below normal precipitation, which helped the time line for completing the job. Phase one of the bridge repairs was actually completed three days ahead of the Jan. 2 deadline. The second phase also was finished ahead of time, and opened slightly more than four weeks after closure. An oddity for this time of year in Iowa, the weather posed no problems during the entire repair process.
After the job was completed, city officials reflected on how smoothly the process went.
Information taken from an article written by Rick Zettler who is a Cedar Rapids, Iowa-based freelance writer specializing in the construction industry.
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Last Updated: on 6/28/2014 1:08:11 PM Pacific Daylight Time (8:08 PM GMT)
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum