Over a dozen Cass County Bridges are in bad shape according to inspections


June 4th, 2014 by Ric Hanson

More than a dozen bridges in Cass County failed to pass a recent inspection, and either must have their maximum weight load lowered and re-posted, or they will need to be closed. That was the word from Assistant County Engineer Rich Hanson, who spoke Wednesday morning before the County Board of Supervisors. Hansen said there are 16 bridges that are in bad enough shape that the posted weight limit needs reduced. Inspectors recommended closing two bridges. One of the bridges, #450, was closed Tuesday. Hansen says that’s the high truss bridge over the Nishnabotna River located near the Schildberg Recreation Area walking path, off of Buck Creek Road.

The other bridge is Bridge #83, known as the Griswold Golf Course bridge. Inspectors cited severe rust as the reason for closing the bridge, but Hansen says the County may keep it open, with a reduced weight limit, instead. It would have a 3-ton weight limit and be restricted to one-lane only. The bridge has a 15-mile per hour speed limit. Hansen said some of the worst beams on the Golf Course bridge are along the west wheel path. He says they’re so badly rusted, you can put your hand through the center part of the beam, but the top and bottom are still intact.

He said they will put a 10×10 curb along the bad section and restrict the lane to a 15-foot width on the east side of the bridge until the replacement project for that bridge is let for bids. Hansen says the bridges have deteriorated since their last inspection in part, due to the salt and calcium on the roads being transferred to the bridges by vehicles passing through them. He said once the rust starts, it’s very hard to stop.