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Your Village: What’s going to happen with the Ped Mall bricks?

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Construction on the Iowa City Ped Mall, July 2, 2018. — photo by Abby Evans

What is happening with the old Ped Mall bricks once the renovations are complete? There was some talk of offering them to the public earlier in the year that seems to have died. — Chris, Madison, WI, via the Your Village feature on LV’s homepage.

“There are no set plans for the bricks right now,” Scott Sovers, senior civil engineer for Iowa City, told Little Village. “Initially, we had discussed offering them to nonprofit organizations first, and then potentially offering them to the public. We still have to iron out the details, but that seems to be where we’re heading with it.”

The paving bricks removed during the renovation of the Ped Mall are being placed in storage, Sovers explained. He said a final decision on what to do with them will probably be made within three months.

The old clay bricks are being replaced with ones made of cast concrete. The new bricks look similar to the old ones, but should be more resistant to wear and provide better traction, according to the plans for the revamped Ped Mall.

The problem of random bricks jutting out of place should be fixed by the new substratum beneath the pavement. Instead of the current compact aggregate of gravel and other crushed materials, which has shifted and become uneven over the decades, there will be a concrete slab that should provide a more stable foundation.

Sovers said he’s heard from a lot of people who want a Ped Mall brick as a souvenir. “It seems like once or twice a week I get a phone call from folks who are interested,” he said.

Sovers keeps a list of people who have called or emailed him about the bricks. “Once we decide what we’re going to do, I’ll contact them,” he said.

Anyone who wants to be added to the contact list for Ped Mall bricks should email Scott Sovers at scott-sovers@iowa-city.org.


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