Bridge construction will shut down part of Governor Street starting Jan. 14

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The Ralston Creek bridge on Governor Street in Iowa City will soon be under construction. Jan. 10, 2019. — Zak Neumann/Little Village

Governor Street between Iowa Avenue and Jefferson Street will be closed to traffic and pedestrians starting Monday at noon, as construction starts on an Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) project that will replace the bridge over Ralston Creek.

It’s a DOT project because that stretch of Governor Street is also northbound Highway 1, so maintenance of the bridge is a state responsibility. And the route for the detour around the construction is also state responsibility, but in this case, there’s a slight problem with that.

“The DOT has provided a detour for Highway 1 traffic, but its plan did not have anything regarding pedestrians or local traffic,” Melissa Clow, special project administrator for the Iowa City Department of Public Works, told Little Village on Thursday afternoon. “I was just told a few hours ago that DOT will not be sending any detour information before the end of the week.”

“I’m reaching out to see if we can work with their traffic control contractor to get something in place,” Clow said.

DOT recommends Highway 1 travelers wanting to go north use Gilbert Street, then turn right on E Jefferson Street and follow it to Governor.

If the state’s traffic control contractor doesn’t reply before Monday, the city will post its own suggested alternative routes, according to Clow.

“Of course, locals who know the roads in that area will probably come up with their own preferred routes,” she said.

The Governor Street construction project is scheduled to last through June.

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