- Associated Press - Saturday, July 2, 2016

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Only six years after being gifted to the city of Des Moines, a pedestrian bridge needs expensive repairs that the city will have to cover.

The Center Street pedestrian bridge over the Des Moines River in downtown Des Moines must undergo a $160,000 resurfacing project, the Des Moines Register reported (https://dmreg.co/29eQdkv ). The repairs include sandblasting and adding a new surface, painting and pedestrian traffic controls. A contractor warranty covers the costs of materials, but the city must pay the labor costs.

“I had some great concerns when I saw this, because it’s not that old,” Councilwoman Christine Hensley said.

Des Moines officials recently approved the repair work. They also began the first steps toward a policy that will guarantee quality work on future projects donated to the city.

Principal Financial Group built the $10 million bridge, and then gifted it to the city. The city assumed full ownership of the Principal Riverwalk in 2013, after Principal spent $70 million on the walkway and a series of park features, according to Erica Jensen, a Principal spokeswoman.

The City Council this week recommended creating a policy to head off expensive problems when the city takes ownership of privately built projects.

“Our staff should be involved in the building (process) and creation or planning,” Councilman Skip Moore said.

But direct city oversight could cool some companies’ eagerness to work on large-scale projects, Councilman Chris Coleman said. He suggested more involvement from the city’s engineering office, a set of minimum standards or maybe a five-year retainer to guarantee quality work.

The City Council is expected to consider a recommendation at a future meeting.


Information from: The Des Moines Register, https://www.desmoinesregister.com

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