Crews and community celebrate official start to bridge replacement project with groundbreaking ceremony

A sign of things to come ... A groundbreaking ceremony was held near the east approach of the current Black Hawk Bridge at Lansing Thursday, November 2, marking the official start of construction of the planned replacement bridge pictured on the sign in the photo above. Also pictured in the photo above are, left to right, Tony Gustafson, chief engineer, with Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT); Aaron Rosenbery, project manager, with Kraemer North America (contractor on the bridge project); Clayton Burke, project manager, with Iowa DOT; and Dan Kleinertz, project supervisor, with Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT). Photo by Julie Berg-Raymond.

Wide variety of representation at groundbreaking ... Residents of both Wisconsin and Iowa attended the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Mississippi River bridge at Lansing Thursday, November 2. The ceremony was held at the northeast corner of the existing Black Hawk Bridge that connects Iowa Hwy. 9 and Wisconsin Hwy. 82, with the existing bridge looming above on the left side of the photo and some of the heavy equipment to be used in the new bridge construction standing tall in the background of the photo. Photo by Julie Berg-Raymond.

Digging in to get the project underway ... Several of the individuals who will be instrumental throughout the Black Hawk Bridge replacement project turned over their first shovels of dirt at the Thursday, November 2 groundbreaking ceremony near the east approach of the existing bridge. Pictured, left to right, are Paul Lindsey, who is the lead inspector for HNTB Corporation, an engineering consulting firm out of Madison, WI; Clayton Burke, the Iowa Department of Transportation’s manager for the project; Travis Konda, a Structural Engineer for HNTB; Aaron Rosenbery, project manager for Kraemer North America, contractor for the bridge replacement project; and David Stanke, Kraemer North America Vice President for the Wisconsin area. Photo by Julie Berg-Raymond.

by Julie Berg-Raymond

An important moment in area history unfolded Thursday, November 2, at the site of what will be the new Mississippi River bridge at Lansing.

Representatives from the Iowa and Wisconsin Departments of Transportation (DOT) and Kraemer North America (contractors on the project), along with community members ceremonially broke ground on the project to replace the Black Hawk Bridge. According to a short statement released by the

Iowa DOT, “work is about to begin on the new Mississippi River Bridge that will improve the connection between Lansing and Crawford County, Wisconsin.” The new bridge will offer a safer, smoother ride as travelers move through the area.

“The groundbreaking is just the beginning of the multi-year process to replace the bridge,” the statement continues. “Completion of the new bridge is expected in 2026. During construction, the current bridge will stay open and ready for use.”

Although the new bridge is being constructed north of the existing Black Hawk Bridge, the groundbreaking ceremony was held on its south side to provide more room for the event. Speaking at the ceremony were Chief Engineer Tony Gustafson, Project Manager Clayton Burke, and District Engineer for the District 2 office in Mason City Nick Humpal, all with the Iowa DOT. “I look forward to the ribbon-cutting in 2026,” Gustafson told attendees.

Pete Hjelmstad, field services coordinator with the Iowa DOT District 2 office, was onsite taking drone images of the event. The images can be viewed on the project’s Facebook page by searching “Mississippi River Bridge at Lansing”.

For more information about the bridge project and to sign up to receive project updates via email, visit the website for the project at