Canadian Pacific declines to say when fire-damaged bridge will r - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Canadian Pacific declines to say when fire-damaged bridge will re-open

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Canadian Pacific crews inspect and repair the fire-damaged railroad bridge Tuesday Canadian Pacific crews inspect and repair the fire-damaged railroad bridge Tuesday
DUBUQUE COUNTY (KWWL) - Canadian Pacific Railway is declining to say exactly when it might re-open one of its bridges in Dubuque County that was heavily damaged Monday in a fire.

The fire broke out shortly before Noon on Monday. Fire crews from Key West, Dubuque, East Dubuque, Ill. and Bellevue responded.

The bridge is located along the Mississippi River in southern Dubuque County, about two miles south of Massey Station. The remote location made fighting the fire difficult, Key West fire chief Brian Arnold said.

"Working from the water is challenging because, you know, everything's moving and you're trying to do boat positioning and keep everything in place," he said Tuesday. "That was something unique."

The fire took three fire boats and about two fire trucks to extinguish. The fire trucks had to reach the bridge by driving through the adjacent landowner's fields.

He said it's his understanding a welding crew was doing some work on the bridge about half an hour before the fire broke out.

Canadian Pacific Railway spokesperson Salem Woodrow confirmed only that there were Canadian Pacific crews in the area at that time.

"I'm not exactly sure what they were doing, what kind of work they were doing in the area," Woodrow said Tuesday in a phone call.

She declined to say when the bridge will re-open, stating it is too soon to make that determination.

"Our focus right now would be to have full safety inspections made, repair the bridge, work to keep our customers' products moving," Woodrow said. "CP always has re-routing options in place."

She confirmed trains are being re-routed because of this bridge closure. She declined to say how much the closure or repairs would cost the company.

Engineers and experts from CP were on site Tuesday, Woodrow said, and determined the bridge would not need to be completely demolished in order to recover from the fire. Engineers determined they could rebuild on the existing structure, she said.

The bridge will re-open only after a full inspection and round of safety checks, Woodrow said.

When asked if the bridge has had any fires before, Woodrow replied, "I don't have that information."

She said Canadian Pacific crews noticed the fire and reported it to the company around 11:45 a.m. Monday.

Arnold said the Key West Fire Department got the call about the fire right at Noon. He said the CP crews that noticed the fire were in a train that traveled over the blazing bridge.
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