4th Street bridge reopens as million dollar project nears comple - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

4th Street bridge reopens as million dollar project nears completion

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Among the countless projects in downtown Waterloo, the renovation of the iconic canopy bridge is nearing completion. 

Once called the "world's longest urinal," the cracking cement, rusted railing and extensive damage from 40 years of weather left many avoiding the walkway.

"It was really bad before. It was always a little sketchy to walk on," said Waterloo native, Brianna Cool.

But after months of work repairing, refinishing, and restoring, the changes to the 4th Street pedestrian bridge are already astounding.  Tuesday, workers were putting newly-painted paneling back in, and preparing to begin putting new windows in the canopy later this week.  A canopy that Main Street Waterloo Executive Director, Tavis Hall, and many others petitioned to save this spring.

"I walked across it today and really started to see it coming to shape. It is pretty symbolic for the rest of downtown. We are in the middle of something really special. We all know the finished project is going to be amazing," said Hall.

A sign of the project nearing the finish line, the bridge re-opened to traffic Tuesday.

Businesses in the area, like the popular Newton's Paradise Cafe, say they are excited to see it open again.

"I feel like it has affected business. It has been slower because people from the other side of the bridge can't get to it as easily. As far as walking goes, you would have to go all the way around the couple of blocks. It is really great to have it back open," said Cool, a waitress at Newton's.

 With road construction throughout downtown, drivers are happy to have one more way to cross the Cedar River.

"I left the other day and I was about 10 minutes late just trying to find a route," said Larry Deggmer.

The entire $1.5 million dollar project should be completed in early November.

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