Bridge replacement complete, Iowa River Drive open to traffic ...

The new Irish Hollow Creek Bridge pictured above and below along Iowa River Drive (County Road A26) and located approximately 3.5 miles southwest of New Albin adjacent to the Upper Iowa River is in its final stages of having the finishing touches put on the project and has been opened to all traffic as of mid-July. Signage for the gravel road detour around the replacement project is scheduled to be removed this week. The bridge has been closed since late March of this year for a replacement project of the entire structure that was first constructed in 1946. Allamakee County Engineer Brian Ridenour said the 73-year-old bridge had some deck deficiencies which would have required posting the bridge for weight restrictions, so the decision was made to replace the structure along the well-utilized Iowa River Drive route. The former bridge also had to be designated and signed as “narrow” due to its width being narrower than the approach pavement width through the nearby curve, a problem rectified with the bridge replacement. Ridenour said the deck also had major concrete spalling failures due to years of moisture and freeze-thaw expansion and contraction. As evident in the photo below, the new structure is a simple free span with no middle pier, designed as such so that debris will not get hung up in possible future high water situations. The cost to replace the structure was $726,592, with 80% of that cost coming from federal funding. Brennan Construction of Lansing was the prime contractor on the project and utilized six subcontractors. Standard photos by Joe Moses.

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