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New bridges are coming to Scott County

PLEASANT VALLEY TOWNSHIP, Iowa -- About a thousand vehicles cross the steel bridge on Wells Ferry Road over Spencer Creek in Pleasant Valley every day.

Built in 1972, her old age is showing.

"On the deck, you can see some hairline cracking. There's some spawling."

Scott County Engineer Jon Burgstrum points to pieces of concrete falling off in parts, showing the tear and wear over time: "Maybe it got hit by a snowplow there."

The bridge has been given a rating of 4 on the National Bridge Inventory ratings scale from 0-9, meaning it is "structurally deficient."

"This bridge is a structurally deficient bridge, doesn’t mean it’s gonna fall down," Burgstrum says.

21 bridges in Scott County out of 115 are considered structurally deficient.

Scott County's Department of Secondary Roads are working on replacing eight bridges, all projects are currently in the design phase.

The county's five-year plan calls for a total of 16 bridges to be replaced.

"Usually we can do three or four a year," Burgstrum says, adding that it all depends on the size of the bridge and the amount of bridge funding there is.

Tearing down the old bridge and building a new one over Spencer Creek costs about $450,000, he estimated. Funds for construction projects come from a mix of federal, state and local coffers

"We are going to be pretty busy building bridges for the next few years," he says.

Construction on eight bridges in the design phase are expected to start next summer.

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