116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
MOUNT VERNON - County Engineer Steve Gannon on Thursday said neighbors who had asked the county in August to keep the 90-year-old, high-truss bridge in place on Bloomington Road over Big Creek did not make a fuss this week when the bridge came down.
'All has been quiet,” Gannon said.
In September, the Linn County Board of Supervisors on a 4-1 vote agreed with Gannon that it made more sense and cost less to demolish the bridge northwest of Mount Vernon and build a new concrete span in its place than to rehabilitate the old bridge and keep it in place.
It will cost $592,578 to demolish and replace the bridge. Gannon estimated the cost to rehabilitate it would have been between $1.25 million and $2 million.
Gannon said a historic preservation study in the last 15 years identified a handful of steel truss bridges in the county as 'historic.” However, the study did not include the Bloomington Road bridge in that category because of its poor condition and because similar styled bridges in better condition are still standing, he said.
In August, neighbors suggested it might make sense to simply close the old bridge to traffic and keep it standing for pedestrians and bicyclists and even for artists to paint from.
'I like progress. …. But we should keep some of the things we have that keep us grounded in nature,” neighbor Joe Lynott said in August.
'It sits there. It sits there nice,” neighbor Fred Meyer added at the time.
Gannon countered that the 'structurally deficient” bridge could fall into the creek at any time.
'It's going to look really good until it goes down,” he said.
Gannon said the new 150-foot concrete span should be in place next summer. About 90 vehicles used the old bridge each day.