Local

Snapped plank closes wooden bridge

Ideal Road closed at junction with state Route 40

The Ideal Road bridge just south of state Route 40 west of Milledgeville is closed until a snapped plank on the road bed is replaced.
The Ideal Road bridge just south of state Route 40 west of Milledgeville is closed until a snapped plank on the road bed is replaced.

MILLEDGEVILLE – A snapped plank was discovered Saturday on the road bed of the Ideal Road bridge over the BNSF railway, forcing its closure.

The wooden bridge will reopen once a replacement plank is cut and delivered, Carroll County engineer Kevin Vandendooren said Tuesday.

The plank must be 4-by-10 inches thick and 22 feet wide, and not many mills make such custom cuts, Vandendooren said.

The closure does not alter the county’s plan to decommission the bridge and redesign the intersection. That project calls for a modern bridge on Ideal Road over the railway about 50 feet west of the current overpass, and for state Route 40 to have a wider curve where the roads intersect at a T. Updated drainage pipes and field and private entrances also will be constructed.

That plan was one of four options the board considered in 2013 to redraw the intersection. Final plans still are being determined, and construction may begin in the spring, Vandendooren said.

The road is often traveled by grain and livestock farmers to haul product to grain terminals and commercial processors on the Mississippi River. It carries an average of 450 vehicles per day.

Wooden bridges over the railway once were common throughout the county. The only other one remaining and open is on Mill Road south of Mount Carroll. Another wooden bridge with steel truss supports on Big Cut Road north of Argo Fay closed to traffic last year.

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