Two of the oldest bridges in downtown Waterloo will soon be coming down.

The city has been awarded $12.5 million in federal funding to replace the 11th Street and Park Avenue bridges. According to a news release, both structures are scheduled to be closed and replaced starting in the spring of 2022.

The project will be led by the Iowa Department of Transportation in the fall of 2021.

Built in 1938, the Park Avenue bridge is the oldest among eight that span the Cedar River in downtown Waterloo. The 11th Street bridge was built in 1953.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao recently announced the recipients of $225 million in Competitive Highway Bridge Program (CHBP) grant funding. The grants will fund 20 bridge replacement and improvement projects in 18 states.

The Iowa DOT is getting $33.4 million, the largest individual CHBP grant awarded nationwide. The funding will be used to improve up to 77 bridges across the state that are currently in poor or fair condition, the news release said. According to state officials, the improvements will benefit primarily farm-to-market routes.

Waterloo was one of only four cities to receive funding. Waterloo was the only city to get funding for two bridges projects.

The American Road and Transportation Builders Association recently examined the condition of bridges in the state. The organization found that nearly 20% of all bridges in Iowa are structurally deficient.

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