Hamilton Boulevard Bridge Construction Almost Complete

(SIOUX CITY, IA) It's almost done! If you live close to the Hamilton Boulevard bridge near 36th street then you know the detours haven't been very fun. That construction was scheduled to be finished Friday but now the construction company says it won't be done until next week.

Although it may be frustrating the city says the bridge was in dire need of repair.

"The bridge deck was in poor condition, there was some delamination. Basically there were holes in the surface of the bridge deck so a couple of years ago we did a resurfacing of that as a temporary fix because it was that bad," said Jade Dundas, Public Works Director for Sioux City.

But because it was only short-term the city contracted Godbersen-Smith Construction to tear down the old bridge and build a new one.

The new bridge will be two feet wider with brick siding and a smoother, safer surface.

Construction began June 3rd and the city gave the company 101 working days to finish the project. That schedule gives them a break for days where crews can't work because of mother nature.

But even still, the project won't finish on time.

The construction company told Siouxland News you never know what your going into when you start a new project and it says that's exactly what happened. It ran into a few road blocks, nothing that couldn't be fixed but it just took a little longer.

"The one that we recently found was there was some concrete that its on the ends of the bridges that sometimes you find it when you're tearing apart the approaches to the bridges and in this case they did find that," said Dundas.

A delay like this is not entirely out of the ordinary. One reason why in the contract the city tacks on a penalty fee of $1,000 for every day the project is late. The fee is used as an incentive to finish but also to recover costs associated with delays.

"That's what it's really intended to do to make sure that if there are costs beyond what the scheduled project is that we have some ability to recoup that money," said Dundas.

The city and the Iowa Department of Transportation will decide just how much the company will pay in penalty fees.

The construction company says it will be completely finished with the project November 1st and Hamilton Boulevard will be open. Crews will pour the new pavement Monday and Tuesday.

Dundas says there was an option to keep half of the bridge open during construction but the cost was significantly higher and the safety of workers was also an issue.