Ferry service will reconnect Iowa and Illinois amid Savanna-Sabula bridge closure

Sabula-Savanna bridge construction. Photo courtesy IDOT.

SABULA, Iowa  — Officials plan to offer ferry service across the Mississippi River while crews work to replace a small bridge that has forced an extended detour for travelers between Iowa and Illinois.

Bob Younie is the maintenance director for the Iowa Department of Transportation. He says ferry services between Sabula, Iowa and Savanna, Illinois will run for about 12 hours a day beginning Tuesday. It could cost the department about $1.2 million.

Younie says a bus service will also be provided twice daily during peak hours beginning next week. The Transportation Department may also install a pontoon-type bridge.

An 85-year-old bridge north of Sabula was declared unsafe and closed in February. The Transportation Department has accelerated a project to replace the bridge, which officials expect to be completed in September.