Smoothing out the rough spot

Work will slightly delay major Kenyon Road Bridge effort

Drivers heading across the Kenyon Road Bridge toward the west side of Fort Dodge probably notice a pretty good bump just as they cross onto the span.

Fixing that bump will slightly delay a planned project that was to close two lanes of the bridge beginning Monday.

“There’s no risk to anything; it’s just that the concrete is getting bad,” said Jenny Hoskins, the resident construction engineer in the Jefferson office of the Iowa Department of Transportation.

The problem spot is on the east end of the westbound lanes of the bridge. Because of rain in the forecast for today and Wednesday, the repair work there will most likely begin Thursday, according to Hoskins.

She said once it gets underway, the work will take a week to 10 days.

When that work is done, the contractors hired by the state will proceed with the plan to close both eastbound lanes of the bridge and convert the westbound lanes to one lane of traffic in each direction. That was originally to have been done Monday.

The eastbound lanes will then be closed through July.

Hoskins said the beams underneath the bridge on the eastbound side will be repaired.

Then in 2024, all traffic will be moved to the eastbound lanes while the westbound bridges are dismantled and replaced.

The Kenyon Road Bridge consists of four structures — two on the westbound side and two on the eastbound side — that carry Kenyon Road over the Canadian National Railway tracks, Pleasant Valley and the Des Moines River. The eastbound and westbound sides of the bridge were built at two different times. They are different kinds of structures.

The eastbound bridges are made of concrete, while the westbound ones are steel frame bridges. The westbound bridges have a very similar design to the Interstate 35 West bridge that collapsed in the Twin Cities of Minnesota in 2007.


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