Page County Engineer's Office

Page County Engineer's Office

(Shenandoah) -- Work on another of Page County's bridges is scheduled to begin next week.

Demolition of the A Avenue Bridge over the East Nishnabotna River north of Shenandoah begins Tuesday. Page County's Board of Supervisors recently awarded the contract to Godbersen-Smith Construction Company, with a bid of more than $1.7 million. Page County Engineer J.D. King tells KMA News the new bridge will be a modern design.

"The current bridge there is 350 feet long, 20 feet wide," said King. "It has three spans of steel beams, and a couple spans of concrete. So, it has four piers in the river. The new bridge will be 359 feet long, 30 feet wide, and will only have two piers in the river. So, that will be a benefit to that."

King says the new structure will also be better for motorists.

"The bridge will raise about five feet," he said. "So, basically, the bottoms of the beams will be where the deck of the existing bridge is now. By now, that's limited to 10 tons--certainly an impediment for traffic."

Following demolition work, construction will take place during the winter months.

"We will do work of demolition of the old structure and building the superstructure throughout the winter," said King, "when, normally, the winters are low. That hasn't always happened, but, in general, we like to build bridges over the winter. We'll be pouring masses of concrete suitable to insulate, and we can work through the winter, so then we'll be out of the water in the spring during the normal spring floods, and pour a deck as soon as the weather is fit--so that we can get it back open in the summertime."

Saying it's a major entryway in the county, King says he's been pushing for the A Avenue Bridge project for the past five-to-six years. He adds the project follows other high-profile infrastructure work in recent years.

"In the time that I've been here," he said, "We've built a 409-foot long, 30-foot wide bridge at Shambaugh. That's a $2.9 million bridge. We had a $2 million grant for that--in addition to our regular bridge money. Then the next year, we built a 415-foot long, 40-foot bridge just on the east side of Clarinda. We're able to obtain a million dollar grant from the city bridge fund to help fund that."

Thanks to grants awarded for other projects, King says money from the county's coffers will cover the A Avenue work. Because of the bridge demolition, A Avenue will be closed from the Rapp Park Entrance to 170th Street beginning Tuesday.