Old Bridge Gets (Another) New Lease On Life

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DES MOINES, Iowa — It’s a rusty, empty, crying shame.

Connected to bike trails on both ends and close to new residential developments, it could serve a real purpose.

“It’s something that when I was closed it was something  that was dearly missed by the community,” says Loyd Ogle, a member of Des Moines’ Parks and Recreation board.

Ogle’s group now has the historic Jackson Street bridge close to a revival.  It will use city funds reserved for its demolition to renovate the bridge and add recent donations to reach the funding finish line.

“So we’ve got maybe a half-million (dollars of fundraising) to go,” he says, “and we’re real confident that—we hope by this summer we’ll be able to make an announcement.”

Rusted joints must be repaired and every flake of the green, lead-based paint removed and collected to keep it from falling into the Raccoon River below.

But, the 1898 classic is largely ready to resume its old duties…and assume some new ones.

“This is one of those things that will make the riverfront part of the front door instead of the back door.”

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