The bridge over the Upper Iowa River on Cattle Creek Road north of Bluffton collapsed Wednesday after a semi hauling a trailer loaded with feed attempted to cross it.
The bridge over the Upper Iowa River on Cattle Creek Road north of Bluffton collapsed Wednesday after a semi hauling a trailer loaded with feed attempted to cross it.
The Dahly Bridge on Cattle Creek Road north of Bluffton collapsed Friday morning after a semi hauling a trailer loaded with 15 tons of feed attempted to cross the structure that had a three-ton weight limit posted.
The semi made it about three-quarters of the way across the bridge, which fell into the Upper Iowa River. The semi remained above the river on the portion of the bridge that didn’t collapse.
According to Winneshiek County Engineer Lee Bjerke, the cost to replace the bowstring, wrought-iron steel bridge was $750,000 a few years ago. The county now has 10 bridges closed and county officials are actively working on the replacement of five of them. The Chimney Rock Road Bridge closed after flooding last fall. The other bridges, not including the Dahly Bridge, were closed following routine bridge inspections. About 30 vehicles crossed the Dahly Bridge a day, Bjerke said.
“A couple of landowners have property on both sides of the bridge and going around is going to be a pain for them,” the engineer said.
Until the bridge debris is cleared, canoers won’t be able to navigate through the river at the location of the collapse.
Bill’s Auto and Towing of Decorah was called to help remove the semi and the Patrol was also assisted by the Winneshiek County Sheriff’s Office. The Iowa State Patrol is continuing to investigate the incident.
Bjerke said bridge weight restrictions are posted for a reason.
“When you see a weight limit on a bridge, we mean it. It’s there to keep you alive,” he said.