- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 12, 2017

CRESCENT, Iowa (AP) - Residents and business owners in the small western Iowa community of Crescent are concerned by the closure of a key road just north of town for bridge construction and are urging officials to complete the project more quickly if possible.

Pottawattamie County shut down a bridge on Old Lincoln Highway on Monday for construction work that’ll replace the bridge and shift the roadway slightly to the northeast, The Daily Nonpareil (https://bit.ly/2p5Lj2Z ) reported.

County engineer John Rasmussen told the Pottawattamie County Board of Supervisors and concerned residents Tuesday that the project is expected to be completed in mid-June.

He said he’s working with Correctionville-based contractor Dixon Construction on ways to get the work done faster, including asking about possible overtime work.

Board Chairman Justin Schultz said the board is open to considering paying for overtime if it works within the parameters of the contract with Dixie.

“We need to make sure it doesn’t violate what our bidding process was,” Schultz said.

The construction company won the work with a $1.3 million bid.

Attorney Deborah Petersen, representing Mt. Crescent Ski Area owner Korby Fleischer, expressed dismay about county communication before the closure, saying businesses didn’t have time to prepare for the hit in traffic.

“In February, you could’ve said (the road will) be closed for a few months in the spring,” Petersen said. “My client is concerned about layoffs. Spring is busy, busy. It’s a real concern to him.”

More than 2,300 vehicles pass the bridge daily.

Rasmussen said the county has been working on the highway since November and that Monday marked the first time a detour was necessary.

“We worked really hard to minimize impact,” Rasmussen said.

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Information from: The Daily Nonpareil, https://www.nonpareilonline.com

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