Hwy 218 bridge near Salem to close Saturday

Detour is a 56-mile run through three counties

MOUNT PLEASANT – Local officials are concerned that a bridge closure on Hwy. 218 near Salem will send heavy traffic on secondary roads and bridges in Lee County.

Bridge repairs to the northbound U.S. 218 bridge over South Fish Creek in Henry County will begin on Saturday and will require closing the bridge for approximately two weeks, weather permitting, according to the Iowa Department of Transportation’s Mount Pleasant construction office.

Dynamic Message Signs will be in place along state highway routes to alert motorists of the pending bridge closure.

Through traffic will be directed onto a 56-mile marked detour route (see map) using Iowa 2 (east and west for approx. 8.4 miles), U.S. 61 (south and north approx. 22.4 miles), and U.S. 34 (east and west approx. 25.4 miles). Local traffic will have access to U.S. 218 except for the northbound lanes crossing the bridge over South Fish Creek (mile marker 34.44) during the temporary bridge closure.

Lee County Sheriff Stacy Weber said at Tuesday’s Lee County Board of Supervisor’s meetings that he has a concern for heavier traffic using backroads to avoid the long detour.

“I’m worried about semis using their locators to find shorter routes that would include roads and bridges that aren’t made for that extra weight,” he said.

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