Charles City closes river beneath crumbling bridge

CHARLES CITY — The crumbling of the old railroad bridge on the Charley Western Trail is not without a tinge of irony.

“We approved an agreement just last Monday with a bridge engineering firm to inspect that bridge,” Charles City Administrator Steve Diers said Monday. “Needless to say we have more than inspection needs right now.”
Age and repeated flooding appear to be the main culprit causing a middle arch to sag ant the paved trail to sink and break, according to Diers. “At this point we are looking at options,” he said.

He issued this statement earlier:

“The Charley Western Trail Bridge is closed for the foreseeable future and the river around the area is closed as well. No recreational activities including: boating, tubing, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, swimming or general use of the river within 100 yards of the bridge.

“City officials are working with bridge engineers to address the problem. This is a potentially dangerous situation. Please exercise caution and stay away from the bridge.”

For more pics of the bridge, click here.

The Charley Western Trailway is among the Charles City amenities featured in Iowa Department of Tourism publications and on the web. It is built on a route formerly occupied by tracks for the Charley Western Railway. The arched railroad bridge was built in 1910, according to the TrailLink website.




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