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Lansing bridge closed indefinitely

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The Blackhawk Bridge still stands over the Mississippi River outside Lansing, Iowa, and is one of the few crossings from Iowa to the Southwest Region of Wisconsin. An investigation to determine the cause of a structural issue is still in process. (Steve Van Kooten/Courier Press)

The Blackhawk Bridge, which crosses the Mississippi River to connect Lansing, Iowa, to Southwest Wisconsin, has been closed indefinitely, according to the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT).

The bridge was closed to traffic on Sunday due to safety concerns. The Crawford County Dispatch reported the bridge closure at 3:29 p.m. on Feb. 25.

The Allamakee County Sheriff’s Department notified the DOT that there was something that “didn’t look right,” and the DOT confirmed a portion of the long-standing cantilever truss bridge experienced some movement in two of its piers.

At the time of publication, the DOT announced repairs could take up to two months, and a DOT representative did not rule out the new bridge’s construction as a contributing factor. There is no timetable for the bridge to re-open for traffic.

Clayton Burke, IowaDOT Project Manager for the replacement bridge, previously stated the bridge had experienced a slow but persistent degeneration over its lifespan. A typical bridge has a 100-year shelf life; however, the Blackhawk Bridge, built in 1931, was not built to the same standards as modern bridges.

The Blackhawk Bridge is slated for demolition in 2027 after the replacement bridge becomes fully operational. A replacement project had begun in 2004 when a DOT feasibility study determined extensive repairs on the bridge would only extend its service life by 26 years.

The IowaDOT holds a monthly update meeting at the Meehan Memorial Public Library in Lansing, Iowa, on every second Thursday from 5–6 p.m.. The next meeting is scheduled for March 7.

For more information, visit the Iowa or Wisconsin DOT website and the project’s Facebook page.

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