[UPDATE:] As of October 21st, 2015, Mehaffey Bridge is fully open to the public! The unique design and construction of the bridge has also caught the eyes of statewide engineering and public works societies, winning Iowa’s chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) award for “Outstanding Civil Engineering Project” for 2016, and the Iowa’s chapter of American Public Works Association (APWA) award for “Project of the Year” for the 2016 category of transportation projects costing more than $2.5 million.

The new Mehaffey Bridge will replace the aging existing structure with a wider bridge, capable of supporting up to 4 lanes of traffic in the future. To help minimize the inconvenience of construction to the general public, the new bridge was designed such that the majority of the structure could be built around the original bridge without having to shut down the road. The new bridge also features tower piers that suspend floor beams, reducing the required number of piers in the lake to allow for more boat traffic. The suspended features of the new bridge utilize post-tensioning elements to allow for the unique shape. The bridge will require almost 3,000 cubic yards of concrete and over 850,000 pounds of reinforcing steel.

A new 3-cell controlled discharge lagoon system designed by VJ Engineering is currently under construction at a Monsanto seed corn processing facility in rural Iowa County. The new wastewater treatment facility will replace an existing evaporation pond. In fact the new primary cell is being constructed on top of the existing pond. The facility is on schedule for completion in 2014.

The project consists of full reconstruction of five blocks and three intersections of Wilson St. from Penn St. to North St. and about three blocks of new water main on Chatham St. from Oak St. south. The project includes 5,000 square yards of 7” concrete paving, 1,550 lineal feet of sanitary sewer main, 1,083 lineal feet of storm sewer pipe, and approximately 3,100 lineal feet of water main. Construction started in May 2014 and was completed in October 2014.

Engineers Without Borders (EWB) is a non-profit humanitarian organization that partners with developing communities worldwide. Our mission is to improve quality of life by implementing environmentally and economically sustainable engineering projects. Through the Iowa Professional Chapter of EWB, engineers at VJ have been involved in El Salvador since 2010, working to provide potable water to rural villages in south central El Salvador. If you would like to become involved, please contact Mike Saeugling at saeugling@vjengineering.com or call him at 319-338-4939.