Bridge closure forces long detours in Iowa, Wisconsin

A cracked beam in the Iowa Highway 9 bridge over the Mississippi river into Wisconsin has caused a road closure that will force motorists to take a 60-mi. detour, according to a report in the Des Moines Register

A cracked beam in the Iowa Highway 9 bridge over the Mississippi river into Wisconsin has caused a road closure that will force motorists to take a 60-mi. detour, according to a report in the Des Moines Register.

The bridge, which connects northeast Iowa with Wisconsin, was closed to traffic Wednesday after an inspector found an 18-in. crack in a steel beam, according to Mitch Dillavou, director of engineering for the Iowa Dept. of Transportation. Repairs are expected to be finished by the end of next week, assuming no additional cracks are discovered.

The nearest bridges on the river are at Prairie du Chien, WI., and La Crosse, WI., forcing drivers to take detours of 60 mi. or more.

The bridge was constructed in 1931 and has not been targeted for replacement. A feasibility study within the last decade identified repairs and maintenance issues that should permit the structure to remain open indefinitely if it is properly maintained, Dillavou said.

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