Posted: Thu, May 28, 2020 9:36 AM
There are 554 bridges in Winneshiek County. 235 of those bridges—the smallest ones—are inspected locally by the Winneshiek County Engineer’s Office. The remaining 319 bridges are inspected every other year by the Iowa Department of Transportation, which separates the bridges into two groups and does one group every other year.
The results are now in from this year’s bridge inspections, a larger group of bridges consisting of those which are not in as good shape as bridges in the other group. County Engineer Lee Bjerke says the IDOT has dropped the rating of just one bridge within this group. Bridge #362 is on Cattle Creek Road—the next bridge to the west on Cattle Creek Road from the Daley Bridge.
Bjerke says the bridge inspector pointed out minor issues with some of the other bridges, problems like bridge signs being bent or drains being plugged or bridge deck boards needing replacing. County crews have already started making the suggested repairs.
Bjerke says bridges rated as “fracture critical” get inspected every year, while newer bridges can qualify for an inspection only every four years, if they remain in good condition.
Taking care of more than 500 bridges isn’t easy, but the inspections—whether done locally or by the IDOT—are aimed at figuring out which bridges need the most attention.