- Associated Press - Thursday, February 19, 2015

QUARRY, Iowa (AP) - Some residents say the sudden closure of a bridge in the small Iowa community of Quarry has left them with limited access to paved roads.

Marshall County engineer Paul Geilenfeldt said he closed the bridge Feb. 11 because he deemed it unsafe for public use. He said there is no timeline for the bridge’s repair, which is owned by Union Pacific Railroad, of Omaha, Nebraska.

Union Pacific spokesman Mark Davis told the Marshalltown Times-Republican (https://bit.ly/1MBgM0w ) that an inspection team will review the bridge Saturday. He said the team is developing a timeline of what needs to be done for its restoration.

But Quarry residents living on the outskirts of town said without access to the bridge, they don’t have many options for travel to and from the city.

Jane Gummert said the closure leaves residents with a low-lying, dirt and gravel road as their only alternative, a path that she said often floods during springtime, cutting the town off entirely. Gideon Ihde said heavy snow also makes the gravel road impassable, and Eleanor Rutledge said a turnoff onto the road is a steep hill that is dangerous when icy.

Residents have also expressed concern that the bridge’s closure is indefinite because of a bridge closure in 2013 in nearby Le Grand. That bridge, also owned by Union Pacific, has yet to be fixed.

“I’m hoping we can avoid that, but if it comes down to (Union Pacific) replacing the bridge, it’s going to be a long-term closure,” Geilenfeldt said.


Information from: Times-Republican, https://www.timesrepublican.com

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