The Ottumwa Courier

March 26, 2014

Road closed

Courier staff writer

---- — OTTUMWA — A well-known road with a well-known bridge will be closed for several months, the county has announced.

Part of Dahlonega Road is being shut down starting Monday. Wapello County's Secondary Roads Department said the road work includes a bridge replacement. The project is expected to continue thorough the beginning of August.

"Little Cedar Creek crosses Dahlonega Road twice," said Steve Siegel, county supervisor. "One place has had its bridge replaced already. The second place it crosses [now requires] that bridge to be replaced."

People in the area know the bridge needed to be fixed.

"It's had weight limit signs up for several years," said Siegel.

The area impacted by the work is located from 85th Avenue to 105th Avenue. For those who need to make their way through that part of the county, a detour route will be marked.

"When the four-lane came through, we paved that part of Angle Road, so people will be able to drive on that, with no gravel," Siegel said.

For Ottumwa residents, Dahlonega Road starts where Alta Vista Avenue ends, near the "back entrance" of Indian Hills Community College. Though the road is largely residential, there are also some farms and businesses.

This is one bridge down from the nationally recognized bridge built in 2011.

The supervisors and the engineering department haven't forgotten the first Dahlonega bridge: It was one of the first in the nation to use a high-tech concrete with woven steel fibers throughout the material. The Omaha company that made the product contributed toward that first bridge project, making it more financially feasible. The innovation was supposed to have created a much better bridge.

So, three years later, how's it holding up?

"That bridge will be there long after you and I are gone," Siegel said.

News reporter Mark Newman is on Twitter @couriermark