Letter to the Editor: Comment to DOT on Black Hawk Bridge by July 22

To the Editor:

Bridges are landmarks; they are iconic structures that we associate with particular places. Some of them are just bridges, cement structures that carry traffic, but some of them are more significant: the London Bridge, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Golden Gate Bridge, and our very own Black Hawk Bridge in Lansing.

This bridge is named by several tourist sites as the most beautiful bridge in Iowa, but unfortunately, most  bridges have a limited life span and the Black Hawk Bridge is reaching its final days. It will be replaced and is included on the Iowa DOT five-year plan, so construction should begin before the end of 2024.

The Iowa DOT takes comments on its webpage for its upcoming projects. They have had several public meetings over the past few years, seeking input from area residents. There is no doubt that the bridge is necessary, as statistics have shown, so what can replace an icon, a landmark?

We should make our wishes known to the Iowa DOT before July 22. If you go to the website, search for the Allamakee County Hwy 9 project (that’s the highway the bridge is on). You can find the display boards used at the last meeting. Choices of bridge designs are there and there is only one, in my opinion, that comes close to keeping the iconic profile of the current bridge: The peaked truss design. If you agree with me, please leave your comments on the site. There is also information about proposed routes, pier styles etc., but when people take pictures of the bridge, they are taking pictures of the unique style of the bridge.

We also enjoy having the bridge lit for special occasions. Comment that you would like that capability as well. Replacing the bridge is a foregone conclusion after many years of study. Let’s replace it with a structure that is worthy of its predecessor.

More information can be found at http://www.iowadot.gov/pim. On the site, scroll down to Iowa 9 Allamakee County – July 9. Comments may be made online by July 22 at​  http://bit.ly/iowadot2723.

Susan Cantine-Maxson and Bob Maxson

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