Construction company approved for new Iowa City Ped Mall playground

Woodruff Construction will head construction of the new playground at a cost of $227,250.


Katie Goodale

The playground by the Iowa City Public Library is seen on Saturday, April 4, 2020. Downtown was quiet during the first weekend after spring break as classes have been moved online and the bars closed due to coronavirus.

Ryan Hansen and Emily Delgado

The Pedestrian Mall playground will be torn down and rebuilt with more modern, widely available parts this summer by Woodruff Construction at a cost of $227,250.

The Iowa City City Council chose Woodruff out of two bids for the three-month-long project on Tuesday.

The Woodruff bid was right around the city project engineer’s estimate. The city staff recommended Woodruff and the council unanimously contracted the Tiffin-based company for the project, which is set to begin the estimated three-month-long installation in July.

The construction date was set late in the summer because of equipment production and shipping problems. Installation of the playground is expected to be completed by September 2022.

The other bid was placed by Iowa City’s McComas-Lacina Construction, but its estimated cost was $377,491.10, nearly $150,000 more than the engineer’s estimate.

The City Council voted to approve the specific renovation project during their March 1 formal meeting. The project will consist of the installation of new playground equipment, surfacing, and shade areas.

The resolution says the playground is “nearing the end of its useful life” and cites the difficulty of finding replacement parts and thus repairing the aging playground. The current playground structure was built in 2001.