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Clarinda evaluates future of bridge
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Clarinda evaluates future of bridge

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HJ - Clarinda N 16th St Bridge

A car passes over the bridge on North 16th Street in Clarinda near the Clarinda Country Club. The continuing deterioration of the aging bridge has forced the Clarinda City Council to commission a study on options for replacing the structure. (Herald-Journal photo by Kent Dinnebier)

Continued deterioration of one of the two bridges within the city limits of Clarinda has forced the City Council to consider replacing the structure.

The council approved a payment of $19,000 to Shuck Britson, Inc., Wednesday, July 22, for a feasibility study on replacing the bridge located on North 16th Street near the Clarinda Country Club. The other bridge in Clarinda is on North First Street and spans the same creek as the bridge on North 16th Street.

“The Iowa Department of Transportation requires we have a bridge inspection done every two years. Over the last couple of inspections we’ve had, I could see the bridge was starting to deteriorate. Last year we ended up putting a 15 ton load limit on it,” Clarinda City Manager Gary McClarnon said. “This year, their report says ‘concrete and steel deterioration has continued to advance on the bridge.’ They estimate the bridge to have one to two years of service life remaining. So, it is pretty much at the end of its useful life.”

McClarnon said the original date of construction for the bridge is unknown. As a result, the Iowa DOT shows a date of 1900 with a reconstruction project having occurred in 1991.

Shuck Britson has performed the bridge inspection in Clarinda for several years and are familiar with the structure. Therefore, McClarnon said he asked officials with the company if it would be possible to replace the bridge with a box culvert. The cost of a box culvert would be approximately $200,000.

“Personally, I would rather see a box culvert there than a bridge. There’s a lot less maintenance over time and, actually, they’re a little cheaper than a bridge,” McClarnon said.

As a result, a hydraulic analysis was added to the feasibility study to determine how much water is flowing under the bridge. This will allow the company to study all options for replacing the bridge and funding the project before bringing recommendations to the council for consideration.

Earlier in the meeting, the council approved a pay request of $981,973.78 from OMNI Engineering for the 2020 street improvement project.

With the opening of Garfield Street July 22, McClarnon said the project had basically been completed. He estimated 30 to 35 blocks of city streets were repaired during the project.

“I thought they did a great job,” Mayor Lisa Hull said.

Originally, the city had sold $1.5 million in bonds to finance the project. OMNI Engineering was awarded the contract for the project April 22 after submitting the low bid of $1,334,821.35.

McClarnon said the city of Clarinda had two years to spend any money remaining in the street project account.

In other business, a pay request in the amount of $141,799.61 from Building Crafts Inc. for the new Wastewater Treatment Facility was also approved during the meeting. McClarnon said the project was progressing on schedule.

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