- Associated Press - Sunday, February 5, 2017

WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) - Black Hawk County officials may try to save a defective Cedar Valley Nature Trail bridge in La Porte City that they were planning to tear down.

Board of Supervisors members have agreed to include $77,000 in next year’s conservation board budget for engineering work on long-term repairs to the span over Wolf Creek, The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier (https://bit.ly/2k4YMlN ) reported.

About a dozen cyclists asked the board to save the bridge instead of pursuing a cheaper plan to remove it and reroute the nature trail over another existing bridge.

The bridge was closed in September 2015 after inspectors concluded it was unsafe. Engineering estimates put the cost of long-term repairs at $1.5 million, prompting conservation officials to work instead on realigning the trail for $460,000.

Trail users opposed plans to remove the bridge and created an organization called Preserve the Cedar Valley Nature Trail.

“The Cedar Valley Nature Trail is a gem when it’s intact,” said Roger White, a member of the community. “The closure of the bridge in La Porte City has been devastating - devastating to the trail users, devastating to the county and probably to the city of La Porte City.”

The budget funds set aside for the engineering work doesn’t include money for the repairs. Conservation officials would need to find funding for the project.

Winning grant dollars will require all groups to be on the same page, said Frank Magsamen, Board of Supervisors chairman.

“We need to come together and have a proposal everyone can support,” he said.


Information from: Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, https://www.wcfcourier.com

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