Oct 2017

Cedar Rapids will seek public donations to save stone park bridge

A sign warns Bever Park visitors to stay off the stone bridge on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

By Cindy Hadish

CEDAR RAPIDS – The city of Cedar Rapids has changed course on plans to rid Bever Park of its century-old stone bridge, but may rely on donations from the public for its restoration.

City staff met with an engineering contractor who provides bridge inspections for Cedar Rapids to assess the condition of the stone bridge and options for restoration.

In a message from the office of City Manager Jeff Pomeranz to Save CR Heritage, city staff noted that in addition to full bridge restoration, “we are also exploring a culvert under the bridge as an alternate means of support.”

“Both of these options would keep the bridge in its current location,” the email noted.

Staff will make a presentation of the options with cost estimates at the Historic Preservation Commission  meeting at 4:30 p.m. Oct. 12, 2017.

Related: Bever Park bridge targeted for removal

“Specific details of fundraising efforts are still being determined, but we look forward to working with those parties interested in helping and contributing funds to help save the bridge,” the email stated.

Pomeranz previously issued a statement after the issue was first raised in September with the Historic Preservation Commission.

“Since that discussion, City Council members and many citizens have expressed concerns about the possibility of removing the bridge,” his message stated.

“The bridge is currently secured for safety purposes, and will not be removed. We are in the process of evaluating the costs of repairing the bridge. We understand it could be quite costly, which is common with many historic preservation projects because of the detail of the work involved. We plan to determine the most cost effective solution for repairs, and hope to hear from parties interested in contributing funds in order to help us save the bridge. I appreciate the feedback we have received from Cedar Rapids residents regarding this issue. Bever Park is a critical piece of our City’s history, and it is wonderful to see our citizen’s cherish that history.”

Save CR Heritage has been raising awareness of at-risk historic properties in Cedar Rapids since 2012. Help continue this important educational and advocacy work by donating here. We can’t do it without you!




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