Efforts to restore the historic McIntyre Bridge in Poweshiek County are moving forward after the county supervisors approved a grant application for funding last week. The bridge was erected in 1883 and used to span the North Skunk River in the Millgrove Wildlife Area in the southwest corner of the county.
It was swept off its moorings during the flooding in 2010. North Skunk River Greenbelt Association executive director, Julie Bowers, says the vote by the supervisors was important.
“You know it was the right thing for them to do. Because we have put a lot of time, effort and money into this project,” Bowers says. “And we need to see it complete so that we can start enjoying that party of our county.” Bowers says the grant is through the Iowa Department of Transportation and they’ve asked for nearly $184,000.
“That includes the construction, working drawings and all of the bridge construction, repair and reset. We did not go into fixing the river, because that expense is too great,” according to Bowers. The county administers the grant for the DOT.
Bowers says if they win the grant then the association would be obligated to maintain the bridge for the next 20 years. “We are committed to this project, and our kids and their kids will also be committed. We still need to raise some funds to pay for some lawyer’s fees and other administrative costs,” Bowers says.
Bowers says they should know by July if they’ll get the grant. She hopes they can most fast after they find out and have everything ready to renovate the bridge and put it back in place by this fall.
By Chris Johnson, KGRN, Grinnell