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Finding Ways to Fund A New Bridge

BERTRAM, IA (CBS2/FOX28)-Many folks are still picking up after last Monday's storms.

Remember, those two rounds of storms knocked down trees, power lines and caused a lot of road damage throughout Linn County.

But one small town in particular is figuring out how to pay for a new bridge.

"That's all mangled into what it appears to be maple trees," Linn County Supervisor Brent Oleson said talking about the collapsed bridge.

The historic bridge was built in the late 1800's and Oleson said it couldn't withstand high winds and water levels.

One week later, the creek is lower but residents are cleaning up the mess Mother Nature left behind.

"It was a major flood," Albert Lnenicka said.

Lnenicka was cleaning culverts along the roads in town.

He said besides the damage to one of their main bridges in town, some roads and culverts also suffered some damage from the storms.

"It never used to be a concern but we've had too much water here lately," Lnenicka said.

But the town is having a tough time coming up with the funds to build a new bridge.

"When these things collect downstream, it'll take out a bridge," Oleson said.

However, the high water levels are something the county said they need to keep in mind.

"These things are happening more and more. If we put it back in we need to anticipate future storms," Oleson said.

Oleson said it would also be best to raise the bridge to prevent another bridge disaster.

"It's unbelievable what damage Mother Nature can do," Oleson said.

Residents and the county are currently talking about how to fund the bridge and hope to have a decision by next spring.

Experts will be surveying the damage to figure out how much total repairs will cost. It could take over a year or more to be rebuilt.
 
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