GJ overpass construction likely to miss April 3 start date

N-65 in Cedar Township

County residents can look west to bridge work on a county road to see when work might begin on the Highway 30 overpass over the Union Pacific railroad tracks at Grand Junction.

Godbersen-Smith Construction of Ida Grove has the contracts for replacing the Raccoon River bridge on County Road N-65 in Cedar Township. Work on that project began earlier this winter but is not progressing quickly.

The same company has the contract for the new overpass in Grand Junction.

According to county engineer Wade Weiss and Dennis Ward, construction technician supervisor in the DOT’s resident construction engineer’s office in Jefferson, Godbersen-Smith has two crews working on the N-65 bridge. Once the substructure is finished, one crew will move to the overpass project and leave the other crew on N-65 to finish the bridge deck.

The late start date in the contract for the overpass is April 3. Ward said it’s doubtful Godbersen-Smith will be ready to start by then. He said it could be as late as May 1 before work begins. The contract calls for completion by Oct. 15.

Highway 30 won’t be closed until the crew is ready to work. Ward said electronic signs will alert motorists of the road closure about a week prior. The detour will use Highway 144 north to Dana, County Road E-26 east to Highway 169, and then back south to Highway 30. Ward added that motorists are strongly encouraged to use the paved detour route.

Bob Owens (left) and Bob Ausberger talk about a designer’s rendering of the new overpass.  | GCNO file photo

The design of the overpass has not been changed much since public meetings held in Grand Junction three years ago. The $6.6 million project salutes the historic Lincoln Highway. Enhancements on the overpass include Lincoln Highway marker icons and a dozen fluted columns on the supports that are reminiscent of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC.

A section of a beam from the 1957 overpass may become part of the roadside park at the east end of the overpass. Displays there tell the history of transportation in Iowa, and particularly the Lincoln Highway.


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