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Grand old highway again open in Poweshiek County

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Iowa DOT workers put the finishing touches on the Bear Creek bridge, about one mile west of Brooklyn on U.S. Highway 6. The construction of the bridge, which prompted closing the highway between Brooklyn and the U.S. Highway 63 intersection, was completed and opened to traffic on Friday, Nov. 20. The section of the highway, also called the Grand Army of the Republic Highway, was closed June 22 for the construction.

The grand old lady is back in business. U.S. Highway 6 is again open from Brooklyn to Grinnell.

The route, closed because of construction on a bridge near Brooklyn, was officially reopened on Nov. 20.

“The bride was completely removed and the new bridge is wider with new, wider shoulders,” said Doug McDonald, resident construction engineer for the Iowa DOT in Marshalltown. “It opened on Friday.”

Also called the Grand Army of the Republic Highway, a section of the road between Brooklyn and U.S. Highway 63 intersection with U.S. Highway 6 was closed June 22, 2009, because of construction of a new bridge at the Bear Creek location.

The Bear Creek bridge, about one mile west of Brooklyn, was old and the width caused troubles with trucks and farming equipment, prompting the construction of the new bridge.

U.S. Highway 6 is considered the second longest highway in the nation, running east-northeast from Bishop, Calif. to Provincetown, Mass.

In 1948, all the states connected with U.S. Highway 6 agreed to the name Grand Army of the Republic Highway for the then transcontinental highway.

Major William L. Anderson, Jr. of the U.S. Army originally recommended that U.S. Highway 6 be designated the Grand Army of the Republic Highway, honoring the Union soldiers in the Civil War.

The Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War began pushing for the name in April 1934. Massachusetts, the first state to apply the name, passed a law to do so on Feb. 2, 1937.






UPDATED November 20, 2009 3:37 PM

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