116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS - A bridge that for 40 years let pedestrians cross over First Avenue East is being replaced by the city's first-ever pedestrian underpass.
On Wednesday night, the city temporarily closed First Avenue East at 27th Street so crews could remove the pedestrian bridge, which had been damaged in the Aug. 10 derecho.
The bridge and its stairs were not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, which became law nine years after the structure was built in 1981.
The demolition is part of First Avenue East road work scheduled this year at the intersection with 27th Street - the northeast quadrant on one side of the avenue and the southeast quadrant on the other.
An overall First Avenue East project includes several pedestrian safety enhancements, such as new pedestrian-friendly traffic signals at 27th Street, 29th Street and 32nd Street; sidewalk repairs; ADA-compliant sidewalk ramps at all intersections - and a new pedestrian path under First Avenue East between 29th and 32nd streets, which will be LED-lighted and ADA-compliant.
Although this will mark the city's first pedestrian underpass, City Engineer Brenna Fall said another pedestrian underpass is being designed for a planned extension of the Lindale Trail across Blairs Ferry Road near C Avenue NE.
'Underpasses are an efficient, safe and ADA-compliant design for trail crossings at high volume or high-speed roadways,” Fall said.
This underpass is a component of the CeMar Trail system,
The city is using Federal Surface Transportation Block Grant funding, allocated by the Corridor Metropolitan Planning Organization, for both the trail and roadway work currently underway. The city is matching funds for the grant.
The trail and underpass component totals $4.9 million of the $11.8 million First Avenue East project.
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