Hamilton Boulevard bridge construction

Workers from Godbersen-Smith Construction of Ida Grove work on the Hamilton Boulevard bridge just south of 36th Street in Sioux City on June 21. The bridge reopened Monday.

Tim Hynds, Sioux City Journal file

SIOUX CITY | Traffic is finally flowing across the Hamilton Boulevard bridge in Sioux City after a five-month, $699,037 reconstruction project wrapped up a week behind schedule.

Department of Public Works Director Jade Dundas said the four-lane bridge spanning Perry Creek opened at 10 a.m. Monday, officially marking the end of a detour that added about 10 minutes to some residents’ daily commutes.

The bridge closed June 3.

The original contract with Ida Grove-based Godbersen-Smith Construction called for the bridge to open in 101 workdays, with a $1,0000-per-day fine assessed after that. Weekends and days when weather prevented crews from making progress were not counted.

The city may not collect the full fine, due to unexpected repairs that required changes to the contract during the project.

“They (Godbersen-Smith Construction) went 5.5 days past the agreed deadline,” Dundas said. “There is a $1,000-a-day fine for liquidated damages, and we will discuss that with them.”

Reopening the bridge is expected to provide a boost to nearby businesses, many of which heard complaints from employees and customers about the detour.

At Minerva’s Restaurant & Bar, assistant dining room manager J.T. Biegler said he expects to see more patrons from the north side of the bridge make the trip to the restaurant, which is on the south side.

An added 10-minute detour can seem like a lot for motorists who are accustomed to a 10-minute drive, Biegler said.

“Personally, I’m very excited about it,” he said. “It’s going to make it easier for people on the north side to eat in my dining room.”

The bridge opening was also a relief for the Sioux City Council.

At Monday’s council meeting, Mayor Bob Scott said he will be driving through the area on a daily basis.

“Great job,” Scott told Dundas during the meeting. “A little late, but that’s not your fault.”

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Nate Robson is the education reporter for the Journal. He writes about issues impacting local school districts and colleges.

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