Thrillseekers Risk Lives Walking on Iowa City Bridge Arches
Park Road Bridge in Iowa City opened at the very end of August, just ahead of September 1 when it was originally scheduled to see its first traffic. It's seeing plenty of vehicle and pedestrian traffic, but some of it has been on part of the bridge that was never intended to be used. That is a big reason for concern, new security measures, and increased patrols by the Iowa City Police Department.
The bridge's arches themselves have been used by skateboarders and others over the last couple weeks. Sounds crazy, right? Daredevils or fools? I prefer the latter. Honestly, I'm a bit amazed no one considered people might climb up on the arches. Here's a video the city posted just after the bridge opened last month that takes you on a trip across the bridge.
Being on those arches is extremely dangerous. As Iowa City Police Chief Jody Matherly puts it,
Anyone who falls from the arches will sustain life-threatening injuries at the very least. We are concerned for the safety of our residents and visitors. Stay off the arches.
Iowa City and the bridge contractor are working on ways to limit access to the arches. While that's being worked on, the Iowa City Police Department will be increasing patrols of the bridge area.
Signs, like the one below, have now been posted. Anyone caught on the arches of the Park Road Bridge will be charged with a simple misdemeanor for trespassing and anyone who sees someone on one of the arches is asked to call 911. Let's hope they find a way to eliminate access to those arches soon because it's only a matter of time before something bad happens.