Better Roads

February 2014

Better Roads Digital Magazine

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Page 13 of 39

12 February 2014 Better Roads T he Jesup Bridge in Buchanan County, Iowa, has been a vital market link for farm- ers, growers and the community as a whole since it was constructed in the late 1940s. According to the Iowa De- partment of Transportation, an aver- age of 4,360 vehicles cross this bridge every single day between rural Jesup, Iowa and Highway 20, which leads to the city. This might seem like small pota- toes – pun intended – to a big city or municipality, but for this rural county bridge, this is considered heavy traffic. The loss of this bridge could effec- tively isolate the residents of this com- munity and cause severe economic duress, and that's exactly what hap- pened. The 22-foot-wide concrete bridge became functionally obsolete, too narrow to handle two-way traffic. Bu- chanan County Engineer Brian Keier- leber said the bridge had a sufficiency rating of 49 out of 100. With increas- ing frequency, agricultural loads could not cross the structure because they were too wide. In fact, any large vehi- cle made this a single-lane bridge. For one of the most heavily traveled roads in the county, this was a major safety issue and an economic impediment. by Tina Grady Barbaccia When Iowa's Jesup Bridge became a safety hazard, the local agency found a way to design and fund reconstruction of this important thoroughfare.

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