Sabula bridge construction delayed, town impacted - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Sabula bridge construction delayed, town impacted

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Credit: Iowa D.O.T. Credit: Iowa D.O.T.

People in Sabula, Iowa's island city, say they're frustrated over a bridge construction project that's taking too long. The town is feeling the impact of a bridge closure, meaning they can't easily travel off the island to the other side.

"To me, it's a disaster," said Kristi Mussmann, owner of the  Hop-N-Shop convenience store.

The Iowa Department of Transportation is building a new bridge, but they've run into problems. It's delaying the opening, and cutting off access to Savanna, Illinois.

"It's just very depressing to me, because I'm so used to having all these people come through," Mussmann said.

The project has been set back by difficulties. According to the DOT, the problem is the foundation in the river. The sandy soil and high water levels, all complicating the process.

Crews will now have to do extra work, and drill deeper to hit stable rock. They'll have to wait for the water level to go down.

Mussmann said closure is a big loss to the few businesses in the small town. "From February to April, I'm down about 35 to $36,000, from last year. So, if I do it up till September, it could hit 100-thousand."

They are also tired of the long detour, which takes about an hour to commute to Savanna. With the bridge open, it typically only takes about 15 minutes.

In a Facebook post,  Troy Hansen, the mayor of Sabula, said he hopes the DOT will implement a car ferry to help. A decision to move forward with a ferry has not yet been made.

 Iowa DOT Director, Mark Lowe, and Sabula city officials will be holding a public meeting to answer questions from community members. The meeting is being held at city hall on Thursday, May 17th at 6 p.m. 

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