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Lansing Bridge reopens after being closed nearly 2 months for emergency repairs

Source: Iowa Department of Transportation

Lansing Bridge reopens after being closed nearly 2 months for emergency repairs

Federal officials estimate about 2,200 people use the bridge each day.

April 20, 2024 5:36 PM CDT

By: Jimmie Kaska

DE SOTO, Wis. (WLCX) – The Lansing Bridge, which connects Crawford County in Wisconsin to Lansing, Iowa, was re-opened at 11 a.m. on April 20 after nearly two months of being closed for emergency repairs.

The 93-year-old bridge had to have two new piers set and bridge decking replaced after construction on its replacement shifted part of the bridge in late February.

The Iowa Department of Transportation said that the bridge passed inspection, allowing it to be reopened. Initially, DOT officials had estimated that the bridge would be closed until the end of April.

In a release, DOT officials said that that the new piers have steel pipe pilings driven more than 100 feet into bedrock. This replaces the near-century existing ones that only went down about 40 feet.

An estimated 2,200 vehicles used the bridge daily, according to Wisconsin and Iowa politicians in a letter seeking federal funding to repair the bridge. The closure meant motorists have to drive over an hour out of the way to cross the Mississippi by traveling north to La Crosse, Wis. or La Crescent, Minn., or south to Prairie du Chien, Wis. or Marquette, Iowa.

A free water taxi service was used during the closure to help people cross without needing to take the lengthy detour. That service is now ended with the reopening of the bridge.

The Lansing Bridge, also known as the Black Hawk Bridge in Wisconsin, had been closed since Feb. 25. The current bridge was constructed in 1931. The new bridge will cost $140 million, with about 80% coming from federal funding and the rest split between Wisconsin and Iowa. Work began last fall on the new bridge.

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