DOT Closing 1st Avenue Bridge Sunday for Tests

By George Ford, Reporter

Looking across the Cedar River toward downtown

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By Aaron Hepker

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Several bridges over the Cedar River in downtown Cedar Rapids will be closed from 10 p.m. until 6 a.m. Saturday, Sunday or Monday for state and local tests.

A contractor hired by the City of Cedar Rapids will be doing nondestructive testing of the Second Avenue bridge and approaches Saturday night, the First Avenue span Sunday and the E Avenue bridge Monday to support design work by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers for the future proposed east side levee system.

The testing will take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours, depending on the location.

Cathy Cutler, transportation planner for the Iowa Department of Transportation in Cedar Rapids, said testing of the First Avenue bridge Sunday night by her agency is a routine annual inspection.

"The last time we tested the bridge it was 84 on a scale of 100, so that's in very good shape," Cutler said. "It was rebuilt in 1964, so it's got quite a bit of age on it, but it is performing quite well.

"The annual inspections look for any issues. We inspected the bridges after the (June 2008) flood as an extra precaution."

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