The Gazette covers City Hall, now a flood-damaged icon on May's Island in the Cedar River

Get set for proof of some federal spending: foundation work on new federal courthouse is about to start

In federal courthouse, GSA on June 23, 2009 at 8:58 am

The dignitaries cut the ribbon at the construction site of the new federal courthouse here in late April, and work there stopped shortly thereafter.

But Jim Snedegar, project manager for the U.S. General Services Administration, said in a return e-mail — at 10:05 p.m. Monday — that the start of foundation work on the $140-plus-million-dollar building is “imminent.”

Snedegar said a pause in work at the site is the result of a faster-than-expected finish of site preparation and the need to spend time finalizing construction bids.

“It is a monumental task to facilitate construction of a new courthouse,” he said.

The courthouse project flashed to the fore on Monday when Congressman Dave Loebsack’s office issued a press release saying that the GSA had awarded the Cedar Rapids courthouse project $15 million.

In fact, Congress appropriated money for the project in 2008. Apparently, Congressman and senators are notified of a next round of work on a project and so can issue press releases along the way.

Snedegar said the project is moving forward as planned and has not been waiting on any new announcements from Washington, D.C.

The courthouse is being built between the Cedar River and Second Street SE and Seventh and Eighth avenues SE. It will face toward downtown.

Ryan Cos. US Inc., with a regional office in Cedar Rapids, is the project’s construction manager.

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