Buchanan Co. selling old bridges before building new ones - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Buchanan Co. selling old bridges before building new ones

BUCHANAN CO. (KWWL)-- In an age of tightening belts, Buchanan County has found a creative way to move forward with bridge reconstructions while making a little money.

The support beams of several small wooden bridges in rural Buchanan County are falling apart.

"Probably most were put in in the early 1900s to 1930s and the pilings had finally rotted out.  And it's just they've outlived their life," said Ned Johnson, Buchanan County's assistant engineer.

So this spring, the county will be tearing down seven old, wooden bridges in rural areas.  When the old wooden bridges are torn down, their replacements will be made with boxcars or metal piping.  The new construction will make it safer for farmers and rural county drivers to cross over.

And instead of just tossing out the timber from below the bridges, the county has offered up the lumber to the highest bidder.  Two area residents bought it up and will use private equipment to remove the wood.  One of them plans to resell it to be re-purposed.

"I just salvage the bridge planks out of the bridges and resell them to people that build retaining walls out of them or fence, is a couple of the main things they use them for," said Jerry Slattery, who purchased some of the timber.

And the money made from selling off the old lumber will help offset the cost of reconstructing the bridges. 

"It helps the community.  They go out and reuse them and we don't have a use for them right now, so it's a win-win situation," Johnson said.

The county will pocket just shy of $4000 from selling the bridges, putting a small dent in the estimated $200,000 price-tag of reconstructing them.

KWWL Reporter:  Kera Mashek


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