Lansing bridge to close April 15 so crews can replace parts of its structure

Lansing bridge to close April 15 so crews can replace parts of its structure

LANSING, Iowa (WKBT) - Businesses in Lansing, Iowa, could face a setback in the next week. The Iowa Department of Transportation is closing the town's bridge in four days to catch up on some much-needed repairs. 

Iowa Department of Transportation officials say crews will be fixing some parts of the bridge that need to be replaced. They say this is a substantial repair that forced the department to close the bridge starting April 15 for about a week. 

"There are a couple of pier locations where there's some structural members underneath that they've determined need to be replaced," said Ron Loecher, a resident construction engineer with the Iowa DOT. 

It's a necessary measure, but it could place a dent on local businesses that rely on visitors from across the river. The bridge is one of three entry points across the Mississippi River within 60 miles, from Prairie Du Chien all the way to La Crosse. 

"It's going to be kind of hard when that bridge closes," said local business owner Patty Manning. 

Iowa DOT officials say the more than $330,000 project is the most substantial in recent years. 

"I think it's one of the bigger repairs on the bridge," Loecher said. "I have been involved in a couple of others, and it didn't involve as much removal and replacement." 

The closure will turn a 10-minute trip for many Wisconsin visitors into one taking more than an hour. 

"They make up half of my business most days," Manning said. 

It will definitely make an impact on this town. 

"The grocery store, everything," Manning said. "Everything is affected, including all of the restaurants." 

She said it's not an ideal situation. 

"I'd love to get a ferry and go down there and bring my customers across," Manning said. "There's not much you can do about it." 

She said she is hopeful construction crews will be able to get their job done as soon as possible. 

Iowa DOT officials say there are plans in the works to start drawing a path for a new bridge. However, they say a new bridge is several years out from becoming a reality. 

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