SIOUX CITY | The end of construction on the Hamilton Boulevard bridge is in sight, but residents will have to wait until at least Nov. 4 to see the road open.

Ida Grove contractor Godbersen-Smith Construction is a week behind schedule and likely will have to pay at least $5,000 in penalties for failing to open the bridge on time.

The contract with the city called for repairs and reconstruction to be finished in 101 work days. That deadline is Friday. If bad weather prevents work being completed, a $1,000-per-day penalty will be assessed.

Mayor Bob Scott said he understands residents are anxious to see the four-lane roadway reopen.

Hamilton Boulevard has been closed between West Clifton Avenue and 36th Street since the $699,037 project started on June 3.

“I sent the contractor an email telling them it’s important to get this street open,” Scott said. “I do not know why it’s running behind. I can only guess they did not put enough personnel on the project.”

Officials from Godbersen-Smith declined to comment.

Sioux City resident Robin Buckholtz said the construction delays and detours are frustrating.

For Buckholtz, who lives north of the bridge, construction is inconvenient when trying to run errands on the south side of the bridge, which spans Perry Creek.

In the big scheme of things, Buckholtz said, an extra week to finish the project is not a big deal.

“I’m just tired of the detours,” she said. “I can’t wait for it to reopen.”

Jean Dacres, of Sioux City, said he has avoided Hamilton Boulevard for the past year because of multiple construction projects along the roadway.

Dacres, who used to go through the area twice a week, said he can easily run most of his errands in his own neighborhood.

“There are plenty of places to shop in Morningside,” he said. “I’m sure it’s (Hamilton Boulevard) going to be better once all the construction is done.”

Sioux City civil engineer Brittany Anderson said contractors were given the option of closing the entire road and doing the whole bridge at once, or working on two lanes at a time to allow traffic to pass.

City engineers estimated working on half of the bridge at a time would have added at least $100,000 to the final cost and doubled the length of construction time, Anderson said. There were also safety concerns with construction workers so close to traffic on the bridge.

None of the submitted bids included the option to close half the bridge.

Anderson said she did not know why the project is behind schedule.

“They’re told 'here’s the project, here’s the timeline, and here’s the design and specs',” Anderson said, referring to the contractors. “Scheduling and completion is all on them.”

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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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