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Elm and 13th Streets Railroad Overpass/Bridges

Elm and 13th St Railroad Overpass/Bridges
Posted on 11/02/2020
Elm and 13th St Railroad Overpass/Bridges


At the Committee of Whole meeting Wednesday, November 4, 2020, the City Council voted to consider the plans, specifications and form of contract and cost to repair the Elm St Bridge.  Repairs are estimated at $2.3 million. The City received a grant from the Iowa Department of Transportation that will reimburse the City 80% of eligible costs up to $1 million to offset the cost of repairs.


Update on the closed railroad bridges/overpasses at Elm St and E 13th St. After ownership was transferred to the City of Davenport last fall, staff has been hard at work on the design and seeking funds to replace the bridges. 

A portion of the grant applications for the Elm St bridge was granted, and design should be complete this year. The City is hopeful demolition and construction will be finished in 2021. 

The E 13th St bridge, which has significantly lower traffic volumes, is on hold pending funding sources for replacement.

Stay tuned for more information this fall.


Due to its poor condition, the Elm Street Bridge over the Canadian Pacific Railway was closed by Davenport Public Works in May, 2018 to all vehicular and pedestrian traffic. Canadian Pacific turned over possession of the bridge to the City of Davenport and the City is now seeking funding for construction of a replacement bridge, estimated at $2.5 million.

Under the Iowa Clean Air Attainment Program, the City benefits to a re-opened bridge would be encouraging pedestrian travel, save a one mile-plus detour for thousands of cars per day and reduce starts and stops due to the detour. The City is requesting 80 percent of the $2.5 million construction estimate and will fund the remaining 20 percent.

The City seeks funding assistance through the Iowa Clean Air Attainment Program because the bridge closure currently requires vehicles to seek alternate routes and discourages alternate transportation methods.

The City will apply for a second grant to assist with funding.

Based on final funding sources, the bridge demolition could be done in 2020 with construction in 2021.


Council approved the agreement.  Engineering design in the works.  More to come this fall.

On this evening’s City Council agenda is a resolution to approve an agreement with Canadian Pacific Rail which would turn ownership of the railroad bridge/overpasses at E 13th St between Mound and Kuehl and Elm St between Eastern and Jersey Ridge over to the city.  In addition to the transfer of ownership, Canadian Pacific Rail will provide the city with $1.9 M in seed money to support needed structural repairs to the bridges.

This agreement comes after months of negotiation with Canadian Pacific Rail.

If approved by Council, the contract will then require finalization with Canadian Pacific before the city can proceed with steps to upgrade the bridges. 

Rehabilitating the bridges will not be swift.  Best case scenario construction will begin sometime in 2020. Design engineering, planning, and bidding will need to be completed after the contract with Canadian Pacific is finalized.  The city will also need to apply for grant funding to make necessary bridge updates.  The estimated cost to repair both bridges is $6 M.

The city will prioritize the rehabilitation of the Elm St bridge between Eastern and Jersey Ridge before the 13th St bridge due to higher traffic volumes on Elm St.

The city will issue an update on progress later this fall.


The City has received several inquiries regarding the closure of the Elm St and 13t St Bridges. The city has been pursuing repair and maintenance of the bridges for some time. Both bridges are the property of Canadian Pacific Railway.

Currently the city has requested the railroad either repair the bridges or offer a monetary settlement to have the City of Davenport take ownership. Canadian Pacific has escalated this issue to their corporate offices and we continue to check on the status regularly.

We will look to provide another update on these bridges next month as we continue working toward resolution with the railroad.


The Elm Street Bridge between Eastern and Jersey Ridge has been closed to all vehicular and pedestrian traffic pending the completion of an in-depth engineering inspection.  The bridge is owned and maintained by Canadian Pacific Railroad; however, the City has been inspecting it annually to ensure that it is safe to use.  The initial recommendation from our contracted engineering firm after their onsite inspection today was to immediately close the bridge to all traffic due to significant deterioration of the deck. 

We apologize for the inconvenience and will provide updates when they become available.


Elm St is closed to through traffic between Eastern and Mound to investigate structural issues with the bridge at this location.  Local traffic is permitted to residents only along this stretch.  No travel is permitted across the bridge. 

It is unknown at this time when the bridge will re-open.  More information on the status of the bridge will be released as it becomes available.