Iowa City City Council approves Prentiss St. bridge-replacement budget of $1.37 million

The Iowa City City Council approved a $1.37 million project that will remove and replace the bridge on Prentiss St., as well as other improvements along the road.


Nichole Harris

Iowa City Mayor Bruce Teague addresses the crowd at an Iowa City City Council meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020.

Riley Davis and Rachel Schilke

The Iowa City City Council approved the $1.37 million budget for the Prentiss Street bridge replacement project over Ralston Creek on Tuesday night, which will involve the removal and replacement of metal culverts with concrete box culverts, as well as additional roadway and utility improvements.

Improvements will include storm sewer replacement and improvements to ADA-compliant sidewalk ramps, the water main, and the road on Prentiss St. from the bridge to S. Dubuque St. and on S. Linn St., 200 feet north of Prentiss St.

City Councilor Pauline Taylor said that with many bridges and roads throughout Iowa City in disrepair, the Prentiss St. project would be worthwhile.

“We hear about our roads and bridges from many people,” Taylor said. “This [project] is a great [step] in the right direction to get our infrastructure where it needs to be.”

The project is slated to begin May 26 and be completed by November. The Highway Bridge Program and General Obligation Bonds will fund the project.

The project will be bid through the Iowa Department of Transportation, with the rescheduled bid date set temporarily for March 17. Any construction administration and inspection will be performed by Iowa City.

Councilor John Thomas said that plans for road detours haven’t been finalized. He said he anticipates that future detours will significantly affect pedestrian flow in that area, but that the project’s completion will remedy the change.

“The [completed] project will significantly improve pedestrian distribution in the area,” Thomas said. “It will also [benefit] the stream water flow and reduce debris by increasing the function of [general] creek flow.”

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The design plans were previously submitted to the Iowa Department of Transportation for the original Jan. 22 bid date. After a number of deficiencies were found in the plans, the Iowa Department of Transportation recommended that Iowa City hold off on the bidding until provided with a completed redesigned plan.

The temporary March 17 bid date will run with the revised plans.