The agency said it is "committed to ensuring the delivery of a safe, reliable new structure that improves transportation for residents and visitors" in response to recent articles that raised concerns alleging the bridge was not constructible.
The Iowa DOT emphasized in its statement that the raised concerns were alleging that the contractor for the project is not able to erect the structure under the assumptions it made at the time it bid on the project and therefore may need additional information, time, or resources to complete it—and not that the bridge cannot be properly built.
“No one associated with the project questions whether the bridge can be properly built, the only questions center around the time and money needed for the arch erection, and those are issues we will resolve under the contract, balancing carefully our obligation to be fair to the contractor and good stewards of public funds,” Iowa DOT Director Mark Lowe said in the statement. “We have a very sound design by a reputable firm to guide construction of a bridge that will serve us safely and well for many years to come once completed.”
The Iowa DOT says it has been working with Lunda, the contractor, through the established contract process to address the contractor’s requests for information regarding the design, adjustment of deadlines, and additional compensation, and will continue to do so.
The agency said it recognizes the concerns with project delays, as the I-74 River Bridge project is behind schedule. It also said safety of the structure is the agency's number one priority, and anything would potentially compromise safety is nonnegotiable, while emphasizing the utilization of inspection staff and quality assurance procedures for every project.
The Iowa DOT says it is confident in the ability of the bridge to be built, the capability of the contractor to perform the work, and the safety and performance of the completed structure. The agency also said it maintains an unwavering commitment to deliver a safe, sound, and cost-effective structure.
SOURCE: Iowa DOT