The Waverly City Council on Monday night voted to deny a $1 million grant from the Iowa Department of Transportation to help pay for the proposed replacement of the Third Street Southeast bridge.
A vote of 3-4, with At-Large Councilman Matthew Schneider, Ward 2 Councilman Kris Glaser, Ward 4 Councilwoman Heather Beaufore and Ward 5 Councilman Tim Kangas voting against the resolution, essentially killed the plans for a two-lane vehicular bridge to be built where what is known as the Green Bridge is now. Ward 1 Councilman Brian Birgen, Ward 3 Councilman Rod Drenkow and At-Large Councilwoman Ann Rathe voted for the grant.
Several reasons were cited by the opponents for their vote, ranging from the cost of not just the concrete beam bridge to how it would affect the neighborhood. Supporters said that the bridge was needed to provide another span over the Cedar River when the Bremer Avenue Bridge is reconstructed starting in 2023.
This is the third time in the last five years the council tried to redo the century-old bridge, which has been closed to traffic and pedestrians since February 2015. A repair of the bridge was denied by a 3-4 vote in 2016, and a vote to convert the bridge into a pedestrian bridge that would provide emergency-vehicle access was approved 4-3, but vetoed by then-Mayor Chuck Infelt in 2017.
This is a developing story. Read more in the Thursday, May 21 edition of the Waverly Democrat.