Iowa is at the top of the National Bridge Inventory (NBI) for the MOST “structurally deficient” bridges, ranked number 1 of 50 states. Winneshiek County has more brides than any other county in Iowa. There are 62 bridges in Winneshiek County on the NBI ‘structurally deficient’ list. (See the map, below). Without repair or replacement, some of those bridges must be closed. This will create longer response time for emergency services to some homes and farms in this county and more miles of travel for our farmers getting their crop to market. There are not enough local funds to fix them all; we need to tap into state and federal funds.
Not only do farm families need sound bridges, the tourism industry also benefits when roads and bridges are in good repair. Trout fisherman, hunters, hikers, artist studio tour attendees, and other visitors to Northeast Iowa enjoy meandering along the beauty of the county roads and traveling over historic bridges, they are a vital component of the economic health of Winneshiek County.