Outer Drive bridge named after Jensen - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Outer Drive bridge named after Jensen


SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) -- You could say development is his middle name, but Sioux City's Irving Jensen Jr. would prefer something else.

"I had one other term that people called me and that was 'Earnest Irv'," says Irving Jensen Jr.

After years of building roads, constructing theaters and museums for Sioux City. Like his projects, Jensen's name will become a permanent fixture. The Outer Drive bridge, is now his bridge.

"I think it's a little hard for him to be able to see this as anything he's done as extraordinary... you don't have to necessarily have to be in public office to be a public servant," says Irving son Irving Jensen the III.

The bridge could be the most complex and expensive public works project the city has ever done. It loops under and over rail road tracks and took years of lobbying with congress to get completed. But the idea for the bridge, all constructed in Jensen's mind.

"He brought me out here and we stood up here on this hill and he had this vision for completing this outer drive and a bridge and what it would do to open up this part of the city," says US Senator Tom Harkin.

It was railroads and a river, but now a land of opportunity, thought up by a man of modesty.

"I think its a little hard for him, he kind of goes back and forth between excited and maybe a touch embarrassed at times," says Jensen's son.

"There are many people who work hard in this community and for me to be singled out is very humbling," says Irving Jensen Jr.

The signs are already posted on the bridge. So next time your driving look for "Earnest Irv," he's bound to be in that area.

"I'm pretty proud I'll probably take it more often to see my name," says Jensen Jr.

If you look on the bridge's signs you can see the words "Yale engineering."

That was done for Irving also, who graduated with an engineering degree from Yale in 1954.

Online Reporter: Forrest Saunders

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