BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – The Burlington-Northern Santa Fe bridge in Fort Madison will be closed on Saturday according to city officials.
At Tuesday’s regular meeting of the Fort Madison City Council, City Manager David Varley informed the council and those in attendance that work on the bridge will start at 6 a.m. and is planned for about 14 hours.
“That’s going to be closed for virtually the whole day,” Varley said. “And because of the work being done, we also received notification that the Southwest Chief, the Amtrak that runs basically between Kansas City and Chicago will also not be running that day.”
The work will stop the Amtrak Southwest Chief run for Saturday and Sunday and no alternative transportation will be provided.
“Sometimes bigger cities will run buses or things like that, but for those two days the Southwest Chief will not be running,” he said.
Andy Williams, director of public affairs for the BNSF region that includes Iowa and Illinois, said the bridge will be closed from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. to do rail platform repairs.
Varley said he received another email from the railroad Wednesday morning that indicated the swingspan bridge may open at different times to allow backed up barges to move south.