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