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Bridge project on hold

High and fast water in the West Fork of the Des Moines River continues to impede progress in replacing the Sumner Avenue Bridge. Work has been delayed until the water table lowers. Humboldt City Administrator Aaron Burnett said there is damage to the causeway and the coffer dams will need rebuilt. Humboldt Independent photo.

Washed away—that’s the word from last month’s heavy rain occurrence and its impact on the Sumner Avenue Bridge construction.
At Monday’s Humboldt City Council meeting, City Administrator Aaron Burnett reported that construction on the bridge replacement is at a temporary standstill until water levels lower enough to allow Godberson-Smith, contractors for the more than $2 million bridge project, to proceed.
Burnett said that could be this week, but the first step will be assessing the damage.
“The causeway is likely heavily damaged and will need to be rebuilt, as will the coffer dams. This will likely set the project back about 45 days or possibly more, if the water continues to stay high or the causeway is damaged to the point of impacting the Topeka Shiner habitat requirements,” Burnett said.
“Right now, the only work that can be done is on the east abutment. We are still waiting on conditions to be right to do work to relocate the water line that runs along the west pier,” Burnett said.
He said that work could be completed sometime later this month. Denver Underground has provided the city with a quote of $38,000 to relocate the water line to the water plant.
The original timeline for completion of the Sumner Avenue Bridge was the end of October. Depending on the extent of the damage from flood waters, the project completion could be the end of December this year.
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