The following was reported by Chuck Vandenberg Editor of Pen City current at pencitycurrent.com with permission given to publicize on the City of Fort Madison website:
A park board commissioner is cautioning people visiting Rodeo Park about using the main walking bridge at the park.
At Wednesday’s Park, Recreation and Dock Board, Board member Sue Pieper asked the board if there was some way to convey to the public that the bridge is not safe.
According to John Luna, the city systems manager, the metal supports under the bridge decking is compromised and the city had contracted Huffman’s Welding to repair the supports, but the work will have to wait until the weather permits those workers to get out and make the repairs.
The bridge that is out is the main walking bridge visible from the highway.
“They went to replace the decking and found that the metal work that holds the decking is rotted out. It’s just rotted out,” Pieper said.
Luna said the bridges are about 26 years old and the warranty was only for 10 years so the city is on the hook to repair the bridge.
“The bridge is dangerous to walk on and it’s closed. If people could just be patient,” Pieper said after the meeting. “It wouldn’t be a problem if there was an easy way around it, but you have to walk out by the highway and people just say, “Well, what’s wrong with the bridge and they just walk around (the fencing).”
Luna said he hopes the work can be completed by the end of March or early in the spring, but he too cautioned residents from using the bridge.