Black Hawk Bridge at Lansing is open to traffic

By Roz Weis,

A view of the Black Hawk bridge from the Lansing side of the Mississippi River. (Driftless Multimedia photo by Samantha Ludeking)

According to a release from the Iowa Department of Transportation, the Black Hawk Bridge over the Mississippi River from Lansing is now open to traffic.

According to the release, traffic was allowed on the bridge at about 11 a.m. Saturday.

The bridge had been closed since late February, when an inspection revealed two of the bridge’s piers had moved, leading to buckling of the bridge.

Drivers in the area were forced to detour dozens of miles out of the way, or use a free river taxi service to get across since the closure.

Following is the complete release issued April 20:

Following repairs and rigorous safety testing, the existing Mississippi River Bridge connecting Lansing, Iowa, and Crawford County, Wisconsin, is expected to reopen at approximately 11 a.m. today. 

The bridge has been closed since Feb. 25 after two of the piers moved, creating an unexpected buckle of the bridge. Our contracting partner, Kraemer North America, worked diligently to replace the piers. The new piers are supported by steel pipe pilings reaching more than 100 feet to bedrock compared to the previous pilings that were placed more than 90 years ago and reach approximately 40 feet deep.

The trusses removed and reset as part of the bridge pier repair project were inspected according to the National Bridge Inspection Standards.  This inspection was performed by a qualified bridge inspector. The inspector was trained in the inspection of fracture-critical members and all other bridge components per national standards. No defects were found to restrict the reopening of the bridge to regular vehicular traffic.

If you travel on the bridge from the Wisconsin side, you’ll notice new, temporary traffic signals on Wisconsin Highway 82 near the bridge. The signals are a safety feature put in place to stop traffic only when the contractor needs to move equipment and materials delivered to the job site. The signals are expected to remain “green” the majority of the time and should not impede traffic.

Because the new bridge is open, water taxi and shuttle service between Iowa and Wisconsin has ended.

Thank you for your patience during this unexpected event.

Work on the new bridge is moving forward as expected. For more information on the construction of the new Mississippi River Bridge at Lansing, go to iowadot.gov/lansingbridge where you can sign up to receive updates directly to your inbox or check out our Facebook page www.facebook.com/LansingBridge/

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