The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has singled out the new Iowa River Bridge for the agency's environmental quality award, given to projects demonstrating environmental sensitivity in planning, design and construction.
The award recognizes the Iowa DOT, general contractor Jensen Construction Co. of Des Moines and Jensen's parent company, The Rasmussen Group.
The Iowa River Bridge is located in the Iowa River Greenbelt, home to old-growth woodlands that contain remnants of prehistoric cultures and 19th century farmsteads. It is also a roosting and wintering area for bald eagles and is home for the rare northern monkshood plant and three endangered or threatened species of freshwater mussels.
The bridge, scheduled to open to traffic in 2003, is part of a 40-mile highway relocation project in the U.S. 20 corridor, and cost about $20 million to build.