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Highway 6 bridge under construction

By NICK NARIGON

The Iowa Department of Transportation began a bridge replacement project on Highway 6 approximately two miles east of Marengo.

A new bridge will be built north of the current bridge that traverses Hilton Creek, said Steve Staebler, field supervisor for the IDOT. Workers began bringing in fill for the project during the week of May 3. The new bridge will be built this construction season, Staebler said, but will not be opened until 2011.

The project will be paved in the spring of 2011, he said, because the fill needs to strengthen over the winter. Traffic flow will not be affected by the construction project until next spring when the old road is connected to the new bridge.

Besides replacing the bridge, the project also includes reconstructing the roadway to straighten out the curves.

The new continuous concrete slab bridge will be about 150 feet long and 44 feet wide.

The roadway reconstruction will take place about a quarter mile in each direction from the bridge.

The primary purpose for the project is to fix the horizontal and vertical alignment and bring it up to current design standards to improve the safety and operations of that area.

The stretch of Highway 6 has an accident history. From 2003 to 2007, IDOT data shows there have been 10 accidents, all single vehicle accidents, at that location.

Of the accidents, seven involved animals in the roadway, two vehicles ran off to the right and one vehicle ran off to the left. There was one possible/unknown injury and nine of the accidents were vehicle damage only.

The IDOT data shows there was one fatal crash at the bridge in 2002, however; drugs were listed as the contributing cause of the accident and the crash was not listed as part of the reconstruction study.

The project cost is estimated at $2 million with approximately $375,000 being designated from a special fund, the traffic safety improvement program. The balance of the project would come from the IDOT’s primary road fund.

UPDATED May 11, 2010 2:08 PM

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