FORT MADISON - It all amounted to much ado about nothing, but it could've been just a bunch of much.
Poor grammar aside, the pending rail workers strike that was looming Friday morning has tentatively been averted, according to an Amtrak spokesperson Thursday morning.
The Amtrak officials said the passenger rail service's long distance routes will be operational again starting Friday morning, after rail union workers and the railroad industry reached a tentative agreement at about 5 a.m. Thursday morning.
"We plan to operate normally starting tomorrrow," the official said. "A tentative agreement was reached yesterday with the rail union."
The rail strike would have been a major blow to the nation's supply chain, and would have been an equally major blow to Fort Madison, not only stopping rail passenger service, but also closing the BNSF bridge at Fort Madison.
City Public Works Director Mark Bousselot said Thursday morning that he received an email from Iowa Dept. of Transportation Wednesday night that the strike would have forced the bridge to remain open for river traffic, and closing it to all vehicular and truck traffic.
Bousselot said he had also heard, however, that an agreement had been reached with the union and everything should remain normal regarding bridge traffic.
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