A town divided: Construction begins Monday on Shell Rock Bridge - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

A town divided: Construction begins Monday on Shell Rock Bridge

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SHELL ROCK (KWWL) -

Demolition begins Monday on a historic Eastern Iowa bridge, as does a lengthy detour from one side of Shell Rock to the other. After years of planning, crews are finally ready to tear down the Cherry Street bridge -- also known as the main crossing in town.

"You don't see many bridges like this around any longer. The cement edgings on it... it just has a neat feel to it. It's just a small town bridge," said Mary Scheidel, who was taking pictures of the bridge Saturday afternoon.

The small town bridge was a big deal back in 1915. At the time, it cost $25,000 -- money well spent for nearly 100 years of use.

But it's definitely showing its age.

"It's an improvement that the town needed. This bridge is in disrepair," said Scheidel.

Unfortunately, replacing it may mean a strain on friendships and businesses for several months.

"I don't think we'll see a lot of the folks on that side of the bridge," noted Jeff Hart.

"Safety wise, it's great for the kids. Great for the community to have the bridge done. But there are some concerns in the back of your mind about your income," said local business owner Steve Maricle.

Some people doubt if folks will drive the extra miles to shop or dine in town.

"I think I'll know within a couple weeks," Maricle said.

But a couple months of detours will eventually pay off.

"We'll get through it," said Hart.

"I think everybody will think its worth it once its done. I'm sure the new bridge will look really nice," Scheidel added.

Construction on the bridge is scheduled to wrap up at the end of summer, if the weather cooperates. For another look at the detours, click here.

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