- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 17, 2016

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) - Higher-than-predicted costs to refurbish an iconic bridge canopy in Waterloo have put the future of the project in jeopardy.

The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier (https://bit.ly/1WBAZKQ ) reports that the Waterloo City Council unanimously voted Monday to reject the only bid received to restore the 40-year-old Fourth Street Bridge canopy that covers the pedestrian walkway over the Cedar River.

The $2.57 million bid from Peterson Contractors Inc. was more than twice a consultant’s estimate for the contract, far exceeding the $1.5 million budgeted for the work.

“Can we maybe explore some other options for that bridge?” Councilman Tom Lind asked. “Can we look at all options now instead of just fixing the old canopy?”

He’s heard suggestions to remove the weathered structure altogether and create walkway with railings, bump-outs and decorative lighting instead.

City Engineer Eric Thorson says his department is willing to review all options. Thorson said the city may have bid the project too late, which limited the number of contractors still available to do the work.

“We can also contact some other contractors too and see what ideas people might have,” Thorson said. “We have to do something, because it won’t get any less expensive over time with inflation.”

Thorson said the project will not be bid again this year.

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

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