Flooding damages rural Sheldon crossing

The O’Brien County Engineer’s Office has closed a bridge located less than a half mile north of Sheldon on Monroe Avenue because of issues with its foundation. The cost to replace the crossing is estimated at about $428,000.

SHELDON—Work is scheduled to start sometime during November on a bridge replacement project just north of Sheldon.

A bid of $423,859.94 for the project from Christensen Brothers Inc. of Cherokee was approved by the O’Brien County Board of Supervisors on Oct. 22.

County engineer Scott Rine­hart said work on the flood-damaged Monroe Avenue bridge located less than a half mile north of Sheldon likely will not be completed until next spring.

The damaged crossing is a 32-foot-long concrete-slab bridge on timber piles that dates back to 1962.

The county engineer’s office plans to replace the bridge with an 80-foot-long concrete-slab crossing on steel H-piles.

“Depending on the weather, they’ll get the old bridge out, get the abutments in and get the piers in, so come spring, they’ll be ready to pour the deck and close up fairly fast,” Rinehart said.

In addition to Christensen Brothers, Graves Construction of rural Spencer bid $500,887.80 for the project, while Godbersen-Smith Construction of rural Ida Grove submitted a bid of $509,024.18.

The Floyd River overflow crossing was closed to traffic on June 27. Soil erosion under the bridge’s approaches was making the two-lane paved road’s crossing hazardous to the vehicles traveling over it.

The north-to-south bridge that will be replaced is the first one motorists encounter as they drive north out of Sheldon after Washington Avenue turns into Monroe Avenue.

The cost to replace the crossing had been estimated at $428,000, but funds may be available from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help pay for the project.

“We’re still dealing with FEMA,” Rinehart said. “We should get some. We’ve got to build it whether FEMA funds it or not.”