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Humboldt Co. may close bridge

May 27, 2009
By ROBERT WOLF, Messenger correspondent

DAKOTA CITY - An increase of traffic along 215th Street may force the county to close the historic Berkhimer Bridge, Humboldt County Engineer Paul Jacobson told the Board of Supervisors Tuesday.

Board members asked Jacobson about the status of the bridge.

The 253-foot bridge spans the west branch of the Des Moines River one mile west of Humboldt. Traffic has increased on the bridge because people are using it as an unofficial detour for Iowa Highway 3, which is closed west of Humboldt due to bridge work, according to Jacobson.

''It is an old high truss built in 1899 and is Humboldt County's only historically significant bridge,'' Jacobson said.

Jacobson will ask the sheriff to enforce the weight restriction on the bridge.

However, if in a few days that has not helped, the county would close the bridge.

''We have got to remind people that even when it is posted five ton, you probably shouldn't follow the next vehicle right on the bridge; five ton includes his vehicle and your vehicle,'' Jacobson said.

There has been a steady stream of traffic on the bridge at times, Jacobson said.

Supervisor Harley Hett said the matter may become a public safety issue.

''It is a public safety issue now,'' Jacobson said.

Supervisors Harlan Hansen and Carl Mattes were absent.

Contact Robert Wolf at (515) 573-2141 or



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