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Riverview Bridge demolition begins Wednesday
Beginning July 23, the bridge over the Cedar River at Riverview Park will be demolished and removed with completion estimated by early September 2014.
The replacement span will be built next summer.
In 2011, a structural review rated the Riverview Park Bridge's substructure in "poor condition." The city in 2013 received a direct appropriation of $1,067,000 from the state legislature to replace the bridge.
During construction, the parking lot will be closed. The restroom at Riverview Park will be closed until the new bridge is constructed. Access to the park will be available via the Cedar River Trail from Maplewood Roadside Park as well as the NARCO property.
The bridge, a 12-foot-wide, 120-foot span over the Cedar River along the Maple Valley Highway, was acquired in the 1970s and connects the parking lot on the north side of the river to the 11-acre park and trail system on the south side.
Additional work was done to the bridge in 1993 to add handrails and signage and then in 2005 the piles were reinforced and the decking was replaced with concrete.
But the old bridge is supported by piles sunk into the river, as well as concrete abutments, which makes it vulnerable to debris that routinely comes down the river during high-water flood and seasonal melting events.
The replacement bridge will be single span and have a grated surface to allow for better sunlight penetration to the water below. It will be made of steel and there will be no piles in the water.
In addition, some habitat restoration will take place, removing some invasive species along the river bank and replacing them with native plants that will further encourage insects, a key food of the salmon that run up the river each fall.
Construction for the new bridge is scheduled during July and August in 2015.