Feedback sought for design of new Eighth Avenue Bridge

Span to be part of permanent flood control system in Cedar Rapids

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CEDAR RAPIDS — Citizens are being urged to provide input about a proposed replacement project for the Eighth Avenue Bridge, which is one of the busiest crossings of the Cedar River in downtown Cedar Rapids.

The replacement is part of the city’s permanent flood control plans with the footings of the bridge doubling as part of an eventual flood wall. Input about the design and features can be provided online at cityofcr.com/floodcontrol.

Examples of different types of bridges can also be found there. The survey run through Dec. 31. Comments can also be emailed to floodcontrol@cedar-rapids.org.

City officials had initially planned to build flood gates for the bridge, but this summer changed course for a few reasons.

The 80-year-old bridge is nearing the end of its life, and during the 2008 flood, all the downtown bridges were closed so motorists could only cross the river using the Interstate 380 bridge.

The Eighth Avenue Bridge is required to close when the river reaches 21 feet elevation, per the city’s flood manual. During the 2008 flood, the Cedar River crested at more than 31 feet. This past September, it crested at just under 22 feet.

The replacement bridge would be elevated 14 feet and provide in-town access for emergency vehicles and other traffic to both sides of the river in the event of another major flood. The plan would also save money by eliminating the closure gates.

The schedule calls for utility relocation in 2018-19 and bridge construction in 2020-22. The project is estimated to cost up to $25 million.

l Comments: (319) 339-3177; brian.morelli@thegazette.com

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