Iowa City Police: Keep off the Park Road Bridge arches

The new Park Road Bridge under construction. — photo courtesy of the City of Iowa City

Almost as soon as the new Park Road Bridge opened on Saturday, Aug. 31, people started using the bridge’s arches in ways the city never intended. That weekend, five men were photographed walking over one of the arches. A week later, it’s a skateboarder.

On Sunday, Peyton Meiers posted a video of himself skating down an arch on his Facebook page.

In an email responding to questions from Little Village, Iowa City Manager Geoff Fruin explained the bridge is still an active construction site, and the contractor “has already taken steps to further restrict pedestrian access to the arches.” He added, “The City is exploring more permanent measures to further restrict access.”

On Monday afternoon, the Iowa City Police Department announced that “No trespassing on the arches” signs had been posted on the bridge. “Persons who trespass on the arches will face a simple misdemeanor charge for trespassing,” ICPD warned. They also face the possibility of broken bones, since there is nothing to prevent a person who makes a misstep from hitting the bridge’s pavement below.

Signs posted at the Park Road Bridge on Monday, Sept. 17, 2018. — photo courtesy of ICPD

Neither the five adventurous pedestrians nor Meiers will be charged for their bridge-related activities, because they occurred before the “no trespassing” signs were posted, an ICPD spokesperson told Little Village.

“Access onto the bridge arches was discussed during the design and construction of the bridge…” Fruin said. “This is a continuing conversation between the city, the contractors and designers.”