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Heavily traveled bridge structurally sound, despite social media skepticism

A gap under the 16th Avenue bridge is causing concern for some Corridor commuters.

Snowfall can create slick surfaces and trouble spots for Corridor commuters.

The winter conditions are less than ideal for drivers, but the dangers of driving would increase dramatically if city bridges weren't up to par in terms of safety.

A swirl of social media shares on Facebook regarding a criticism of the 16th Avenue viaduct over Rockford Road SW reveals how concerned residents of Cedar Rapids truly are.

A picture shows what appear to be cracks above the beams in the bridge, with the first sentence of the post reading: "I guess the city of Cedar Rapids is gonna wait till it falls and kills someone before they decide to fix it."

Nearly 300 shares in three days, but the concern isn't warranted according to City Engineer Nathan Kampman.

"The gaps that you're seeing there are at the expansion joints for the bridge," said Kampman. "When concrete and steel heat up or cool down, they expand and contract, and those joints are there to allow the bridge to move without buckling."

Without the gaps, the beams would rub together during hot and cold weather, causing deterioration and requiring more frequent upkeep.

"There's no structural concerns with the 16th Avenue bridge," said Kampman. "Anything that you see there would be purely cosmetic at this point. And the specific gaps that we're talking about are the expansion joints."

The city is required to do inspections every two years, and Kampman said the 16th Avenue bridge is fine.

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