Iowa Department of Transportation’s (DOT’s) Pete Hjelmstad answers some questions about the bridge project at Lansing

Construction trailers moved in for bridge project ... The property where the former Clancy’s Supper Club was located at the corner of Main Street and Front Street in Lansing has recently been occupied by the installation of several mobile home-type structures. Those buildings will be used as office space for the contractor of the Black Hawk Bridge replacement project, as well as the Iowa Department of Transportation. The structures are expected to be in place through the year 2027, until the project is completed. Photo by Robert Raymond.

This is the first article in a series that aims to provide occasional updates on the bridge replacement project at Lansing. Purposes of the series include a) addressing questions and rumors that might arise within the community as the project progresses - particularly for those who do not use the Internet and social media as their primary source of area news; b) directing people to the website developed by the Iowa and Wisconsin Departments of Transportation and to the project’s Facebook page, where those interested can access the latest information and sign up to receive project updates via email; and c) offering periodic feature articles that take a closer look at various aspects of the project as it continues to develop.

Readers are encouraged to send ideas for feature and human-interest stories related to the bridge project to The Standard at

by Julie Berg-Raymond

People passing through Lansing recently will have noticed a new development on the former site of Clancy’s Supper Club at 100 Main Street - across the street from the information kiosk and public restroom, at the corner of Front and Main Streets.

In a recent email conversation with Pete Hjelmstad, Field Services Coordinator with the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT) District 2 office in Mason City, The Standard was able to get some information about the trailers installed on the site - what they’re for, for example, and how long they’ll be there. Hjelmstad also provided clarification on some other questions community members have been asking.

“The trailers will be used as offices for the contractor and the DOT during the project and (site preparation and installation of the trailers) will be paid for through the project,” Hjelmstad said.  “No one will be living in them.” The trailers will be in place until mid-2027, he said.

The property where the trailers sit is owned by Wally Mahr and Scott Berg. When contacted via email by The Standard and asked whether the property owners were being reimbursed for the use of the land, Mahr said, “they will be helping us by taking care of the snow removal, and we will not have to mow the yard anymore.” His understanding, too, is that “they will most likely be there for three years.”

“Is it true that part of Front Street is going to be closed?”

“Front Street will be closed from Hale Street to Henry Street sometime this winter for approximately a year,” Hjelmstad said. “The closure is needed to allow the contractor to build the bridge pier on the Iowa side of the river.”

“Who will be responsible for snow removal when the new bridge is completed?”

“Snow removal on the new bridge will remain as it is today,” Hjelmstad said. “The Iowa DOT will be responsible.”

“Will it be possible for individuals to purchase pieces of the bridge?”

“The current bridge will become property of the contractor when it is closed,” Hjelmstad said. “What happens to it after that is up to the contractor.” The contractor on the project is Kraemer North America, a full-service heavy civil contractor (

“How long will divers be on the river, moving mussels?”

“The mussel relocation should wrap up in mid-October,” Hjelmstad said. The company doing that work is EcoAnalysts - a provider of ecological field sampling, laboratory, and consulting services in terrestrial, freshwater, estuarine and marine environments ( Additional information about that environmental aspect of the project is anticipated in a future article.

“What can we expect in the near future?”

Though Hjelmstad said the project schedule is by necessity fluid and somewhat tentative, he has indicated that tree-clearing on the Wisconsin side of the river should be starting this month, and that some construction for the pier on the Iowa side should begin in December. Major construction will continue throughout the winter.

In an article that appeared in The Standard Wednesday, September 13, the following information was offered: “The bulk of the construction work for the new bridge will take place alongside the old bridge beginning in 2024 and running through 2026. The old bridge will remain in use during this time.

In 2026, the roads that connect to the new bridge will be constructed and there will be a few weeks when traffic will be detoured as those connections are made. The new bridge is expected to be fully functional in 2027 and the old bridge will be removed.”

For more information about the bridge project and to sign up to receive project updates via email, visit the website for the project at The project’s Facebook page can be reached by searching “Mississippi River Bridge at Lansing” on the social media site.