Council backs effort to save Des Moines bridge

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Des Moines City Council is joining efforts to raise the money needed to save a downtown bridge.

The council voted Monday to put $750,000 toward a fundraising effort for repairs to the Southwest Fifth Street bridge. That’s the amount officials estimated would be needed to remove the bridge, which needs repairs estimated at between $1.75 million and $3.75 million.

The bridge, which spans the Raccoon River, was built in 1898. In recent years it has been used by pedestrians and bicyclists as part of the trail system along the Raccoon and Des Moines rivers.

It was closed in March after an engineering report cited deterioration and safety concerns.

Since the bridge’s closure, bridge supporters have circulated a petition and lobbied city leaders to save the local landmark.

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