- Associated Press - Thursday, July 9, 2015

BETTENDORF, Iowa (AP) - Bettendorf officials are questioning a footbridge’s design and construction after a storm this week sent the structure’s top 30,000-pound concrete layer into Crow Creek, forcing the city to close a part of the trail.

“I have concerns as a professional engineer as to what potentially caused the decking to come off the structure,” Brian Schmidt, Bettendorf’s public works director, said Wednesday. “That bridge is not that old.”

Davenport-based company Townsend Engineering was hired by the city of Bettendorf to design the 16-foot-wide, 40-foot-long bridge, which opened to pedestrians in 2013, the Quad-City Times (https://bit.ly/1D2YhLH ) reported.

The firm’s owner said the still-intact base structure didn’t fail, but noted he was surprised the Monday storm had washed away the 4-inch thick slab that sat atop the crossing.

“That bridge was designed to withstand 10,000 pounds of force, so that shows the magnitude of that storm,” Chris Townsend said. “It was designed for water to go over it, but it’s hard to design for something of that magnitude.”

Steve Grimes, director of Bettendorf’s parks and recreation department, said he is in discussions with the contractor hired to build the structure to “hear what they think caused the failure.”

The National Weather Service said that damaging winds and nearly 4 inches of rain fell Monday in some parts of the Quad Cities.

Grimes and Townsend said they hope to repair the bridge and reopen the trail within the next couple of weeks.

“At this point, we’re just trying to figure out a way to make it right and make sure it doesn’t happen again,” Townsend said.


Information from: Quad-City Times, https://www.qctimes.com

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