116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
When Ruben Ely, my great-great-grandfather, built his stone bridge in 1893, I doubt that he could have envisioned the importance of his effort.
Thanks to the support of many, including our County Board of Supervisors, the Ely's Stone Bridge still is intact. However, our esteemed treasure, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is in need of help. Due to the application of a cement surface, water cannot properly drain from the bridge, resulting in damage to the structure. Engineers from Colorado have offered to rectify the problem at no cost. They await the 'go ahead” from the county supervisors.
Building a new bridge instead of repairing Ely's Stone Bridge is not necessary. I have canvassed farmers in the area and they have not only voiced their support, but have unanimously stated that even if a new bridge was constructed to accommodate their equipment, they have no interest in using Stone Bridge Road as a farm to market road. Additionally, there are a number of residences in proximity of the road, which presents safety issues. Other routes are available that better fit their requirements. Repair and retention of the Stone Bridge is consistent with their needs and their wishes.
I also have obtained signatures of residents who support the effort to repair and preserve this structure.
It is my desire that the Jones County Board of Supervisors take the action necessary to accomplish the repairs that will ensure the preservation of this irreplaceable and coveted work of art.
Friends of the Ely Stone Bridge