The new spans sit atop a center pier and abutments, which were refurbished and raised about four feet to avoid future flooding. Minnowa employees will add a wooden plank deck, guardrails, and other finishing touches in the next few days.
The Motor Mill Foundation and the Clayton County Conservation Board, which manages the Motor Mill Historic Site, will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony to officially open the bridge on Saturday, Dec. 8, at 11 a.m. The first person to cross the bridge will be the winner of a raffle, which closes at noon on Dec. 7.
The Motor Mill Foundation is continuing a fund drive to pay for the $1 million bridge project. The Foundation needs to raise about $90,000 to supplement a $432,000 grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), $463,000 from Iowa’s Resources Enhancement and Protection program (REAP), $20,000 from Upper Mississippi Gaming, $33,000 from Iowa Great Places, and $11,000 from Clayton County Secondary Roads.
The new bridge will be open to vehicles, with some weight and/or length restrictions. It should improve access to Motor Mill, which since 1991 has been reachable only via six miles of gravel on Grape and Galaxy Roads. The new Turkey River crossing shortens the gravel to just two miles, via Hazel and Galaxy Roads from Grandview Road at Communia.
The County Conservation Board and the Motor Mill Foundation are continuing restoration and development of the Motor Mill site. Future plans call for installing new windows in the Cooperage, replacing roofs on the Cooperage and Ice House, renovations to improve visitor access to the inside of the Mill, repairs of flood damage to the Inn and Stable, removal of silt from the basement of the Mill, and building a levee to prevent future flooding. Discussions are under way with landowners to allow development of a trail along the Turkey River between Motor and Elkader.
For details of a raffle to choose the first person to cross the bridge, call the Conservation Board at 563-245-1516.
- The north, south and center pier caps have been poured.
- The missing stones have been replaced in the center pier and north abutments. They have the old mortar removed from the center pier. They are tuck pointing the north abutment and then will tuck point the center pier and finish the south pier. That work will continue into next week and they should be done by the end of next week.
- The steal for the bridge will arrive on Monday November 5th sometime.
- The footings for the north abutment wing walls have been poured. They are forming up the wing walls on the south abutment and they will be poured on Thursday 11-1.
- When they created the coffer dam it was discovered the bottom two layers of rock beneath the surface are in poor condition. The plan is to construct a concrete collar around it to secure it. That collar will be buried and not seen once the bridge is finished. They will start forming that up this week yet.
- Finish date has been pushed back a week or two now.
10/12/2012 The Motor Mill Bridge construction project is underway! The coffer dam is in place around the center pier. On Friday, October 12th, they will be grubbing the trees around the abutments. Monday, the 15th will be the big start with the concrete work and getting set up for the tuck point work. The construction firm plans to assemble the bridge on the Turkey River island and swinging them into place from there.
Raffle tickets are on sale:Be the 1st to cross the New Motor Mill Bridge during its Official Opening.
The tickets are $50 each.
Photos by Larry Stone and other friends of Motor Mill
Week 7 – Nearing Completion
Week 6 – Looks like a bridge!
Week 5 – Steel has arrived
Silent Auction to Raise Money for Motor Mill Projects Visitors to the Clayton County Fair August 1-5 will be able to bid on unique crafts and other items in a benefit for ongoing restoration work at the Motor Mill Historic Site. The centerpiece of the auction is a rustic walnut table built by Harold Krambeer of St. Olaf. Mary Fran Nikolai of Garnavillo also has donated an Afghan that she made. Other items include a reed basket woven by Margaret Stone and a matted nature photo by Larry Stone. The Motor Mill Foundation welcomes additional donations of crafts, gift certificates, or other products. To contribute, call Larry Stone, 563-245-1517, or email.
The Turkey River at Motor Mill may look quiet – but behind-the-scenes work is proceeding to complete a new bridge at the site this year.
The Clayton County Conservation Board has awarded a $906,000 contract for the project to Minnowa Construction of Harmony, Minn., which submitted the low bid for the work. Because of the unique bridge design – it will look almost like the structure that was built in 1895, yet be strong enough to handle 21st-century loads – the components are being fabricated by a custom steel supplier. The steel is expected to be ready in early September.
Work should proceed rapidly after Labor Day. Crews will build a coffer dam to allow access to the center pier, which will be repaired and capped with limestone-colored concrete to raise the bridge about four feet. The north and south abutments also will be repaired and raised.
The bridge itself will be assembled on the land, then each span will be raised into place with a crane. Minnowa expects to complete the work no later than early December.
With engineering and construction inspection, the total cost of the bridge project is estimated at $1.069 million, said Tim Engelhardt, director of the Clayton County Conservation Board. The money will come from several grants, including $432,427 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA); $463,000 from Iowa Resources Enhancement and Protection (REAP); $20,000 from the Upper Mississippi Gaming Corporation (UMGC); and $33,000 from Iowa Great Places. The Clayton County engineer’s office is donating time to inspect the construction.
The Motor Mill Foundation is in the midst of a fund drive to raise more than $100,000 to complete the bridge, along with additional work to repair roofs on the Ice House and Cooperage, and to remove silt from the basement of the Mill. For details, call 563-245-1516
The latest edition of the Motor Mill’s official newsletter is now available: Milling Around Spring – Summer 2012