The Ottumwa Courier


June 28, 2013

Declining bridges to go under the microscope


Jefferson Street Bridge is "functionally obsolete," according to the report, meaning its design elements are no longer used today. But this classification has no bearing on the bridge's structural sufficiency, it noted. The bridge was built in 1936 and averages 6,800 cars per day.

"Jefferson Street gets a lot of routine maintenance and has had a couple different decks on it now," Seals said. "Part of that classification on that bridge is the construction type they used."

The Jefferson Street Bridge has two spans, he said, which means "if we lose one, the bridge collapses."

On the other hand, Market Street Bridge was ranked as "structurally deficient," meaning engineers found a major defect in its support structure or deck.

This isn't news to the city. The bridge was derated from 40 to 13 tons several years ago, so loaded firetrucks must find alternate routes over the river. The bridge was built in 1972 and also averages 6,800 cars per day.

"Most decks, you shoot for 40 years and if you get that done, then you've done a wonderful job," Seals said. "[The Market Street Bridge] deck has deteriorated as it aged, as salts go through, they deteriorate the deck and the lamination underneath begins popping off, there's exposed steel and they start losing strength.

But that's the standard process as any bridge ages, he said.

South Ward Street Bridge is also defined as structurally deficient, and the city is watching its deterioration rate closely, he said. The bridge was built in 1950 and averages 210 cars per day.

Though Wildwood Park Bridge was not included in the Transportation for America report, Seals said it's also deteriorating and will need to be replaced in a few years.

Insufficient funding is the No. 1 problem when it comes to the nation's deteriorating infrastructure, he said.

Text Only
  • halo-5-guardians-concept_wallpaper-1920x1080-53cf9b0098ea45ada37dc0f66bc174f5.jpg The Art of Kong

    OTTUMWA — The Mona Lisa. Whistler's Mother. Donkey Kong? Don't be so surprised, said Walter Day, that video games and the surrounding memorabilia are being considered art. The creativity and artistic vision required to create a poster, said the found

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Urbandale comes back to beat Ottumwa Midwest BOONE — Ottumwa Midwest led by seven runs in the fourth inning, but Urbandale National put together a furious comeback to steal the victory, 12-11, on Friday at the 9-10 Year Old Little League State Baseball Tournament. The top of the first saw Ottum

    July 25, 2014

  • Parks Dept. has long list of projects

    OTTUMWA — The Parks and Recreation Department has approved a list of capital improvements for the next two years that includes the installation of handicapped-accessible swings and new park bathrooms.

    July 9, 2014

  • 0710 Farmers Market Color Photo 1 -L -M Fresh food improves community

    OTTUMWA — Every summer across the Midwest, food stands pop up on gravel roads, and farmers markets are filled with a variety of home-grown products. Finding a fresh selection of healthy greens and juicy fruits isn't as hard as you might think. Accord

    July 9, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0703 OTT Heart boy photo A Heartfelt Miracle OTTUMWA — It’s funny how wishes can change so completely in just a few weeks. But laughter wasn’t the reaction of Jeff and Mary Penrod.The Ottumwa couple’s son, Brandon, was 18 years old when, in February, Mary took him to the Pella clinic to get loo

    July 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0703 OTT River Hills parking lot color photo -L -T River Hills expansion progresses

    OTTUMWA — Expanding River Hills Community Health Center downtown continues to be a priority with the Ottumwa City Council. Earlier this week, the council authorized city staff to survey the property, prepare a draft developers agreement as well as pr

    July 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • Street repair program begins OTTUMWA — If you think roadwork projects in the city of Ottumwa are just about complete, think again. This week, the Ottumwa City Council awarded its preventative maintenance contract for sealing cracks in asphalt and concrete pavement roads througho

    July 2, 2014

  • A new look OTTUMWA — The 300 block of East Main Street in Ottumwa will be getting a facelift. During a public hearing earlier this week, the Ottumwa City Council gave its OK to the plans and specifications to renovate 15 buildings’ storefronts in downtown Ottum

    July 2, 2014

  • City won't tolerate bad behavior

    OTTUMWA — A newly designed policy to establish standards of behavior was presented to Ottumwa City Council on Tuesday night.The new policy’s introduction on Tuesday, demands city staff and elected officials exhibit professional behavior when they int

    July 1, 2014

  • 0702 OTT library grant color photo -T -L -M Ottumwa Public Library updates genealogy room

    OTTUMWA — The Ottumwa Public Library is the recipient of a Bright Ideas Community Enrichment Fund Grant from the Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation. The Friends of the Ottumwa Public Library group gave $5,520 to put toward a new microfilm reader. The

    July 1, 2014 1 Photo

AP National