WATERLOO, Iowa — Waterloo’s iconic but often vandalized pedestrian bridge is back in use after a $1.49 million makeover.

Pedestrians were using the Fourth Street Bridge for the first time in months, after the summer-long renovation, reported the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier.

“We’re very pleased overall with the project,” said Eric Thorson, a city engineer.

The project took a month longer than planned. There are still a few finishing touches left before the walkway and canopy are complete.

“It’s really close,” said Thorson. “We’re going to try to (hold) a ribbon cutting sometime next week.”

The Waterloo City Council approved a $1.49 million contract with Minturn Inc. of Brooklyn, Iowa, for the project in April. It was partly financed by a $750,000 grant from the Black Hawk County Gaming Association.

The project renovated the canopy, replaced windows and added energy-efficient lighting. There were also structural repairs made to the concrete.

“I’ve received a lot of great calls and comments from people on how good it looks,” said Waterloo Mayor Quentin Hart. “It brings our entire downtown together.”

The walkway and bridge were built around 1974. Many had criticized the walkway’s deterioration and vandalism prior to the renovation.

The revitalization project removed the bridge’s side panels and added more lighting to deter vandalism.

Waterloo Police Chief Dan Trelka said, “Lighting is always a great deterrent to nefarious activity, and we appreciate the incorporation of adequate lighting in this venture.”

With the restored bridge open, “there’s so much more activity downtown,” Thorson said. “Downtown has really come back.”


Information from: Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, http://www.wcfcourier.com