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Badger Lake bridge project nearly complete

-Messenger photo by Kelby Wingert
A 180-foot-span bridge was recently opened for foot traffic on the trail surrounding Badger Lake, near Veterans Memorial Park. The bridge, on the trail just off of the Children’s Forest, replaces an older wooden bridge that was removed about five years ago, Webster County Conservation Director Matt Cosgrove said.

A new bridge crossing over part of Badger Lake near Veterans Memorial Park has recently been completed, providing trail users a scenic view of the lake and the parks that surround it.

The 180-foot-span bridge connects Veterans Memorial Park with the rest of the trail that loops around Badger Lake and through John F. Kennedy Memorial Park.

The finishing touches on the bridge project will be done soon, but the bridge is open and people are using it, Webster County Conservation Director Matt Cosgrove said.

“We’re cutting a new route to the trail because there was not a trail where the bridge is at,” he said.

This bridge project is about five or six years in the making, Cosgrove said.

-Messenger photo by Kelby Wingert
A bridge that runs over a spillway in the northwestern area of Badger Lake was recently completed. It was part of a two-bridge project that the county has been working on.

“It started when we removed a bridge that was in the Children’s Forest because it was unsafe,” he said. “It was a wooden bridge and had moved all over the place from the ice in and out every year.”

Then, in 2018, the Webster County Supervisors provided Cosgrove with the funding to replace that bridge and to replace a bridge that goes over a spillway in the northwest corner of Badger Lake. The county used a company called Custom Manufacturing Inc. out of Wisconsin.

“We put together some plans, solicited quotes and ideas for building a bridge across the lake,” Cosgrove said. “While they were here, we replaced a bridge that goes over a spillway that we couldn’t get our Gators or mowers or anything across.”

The spillway bridge cost just about $19,000, Cosgrove said, while the larger bridge totaled just over $100,000.

Though the bridges are installed and being used every day, the work is not yet done, Cosgrove said.

-Messenger photo by Kelby Wingert
A spillway in the northwestern part of Badger Lake now features a new $19,000 bridge. The bridge is near another new bridge constructed over a portion of the lake just below Veterans Memorial Park.

“We’re cutting a route to that trail and then putting some mulch so it’s not so muddy,” he said. “Eventually, that will be part of our hard-surface trail looping all around the lake. We’re going to get the bridges in and then hopefully next year we’ll be working on paving the trail around the lake.”

Cosgrove said that in recent months, trail use has increased by as much as 200 percent with trail users, whether they’re hiking or biking, spending time outside during the COVID-19 pandemic. He said he hopes that trail users enjoy the new bridges.

“It’s enhancing the trail experience out here,” he said. “It provides the opportunity to be over the water, which is always a nice addition to a trail when you can be out over the water.”

Cosgrove said the new bridges are a “nice addition to the park,” and thanked the county supervisors for valuing projects like these.

“Replacing that old bridge has been a request for quite some time and really this project was possible because the Board of Supervisors provided some funding for a handful of these quality of life projects,” he said.

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