Long-term plans being addressedThe future of the Bunker Mill Bridge will be discussed at a public meeting
KALONA—A public meeting will be held Tuesday evening in Kalona to discuss the future of Bunker Mill Bridge.
The bridge is in a transition period, said Julie Bowers, executive director of the North Skunk River Greenbelt Association (NSRGA) Workin’ Bridges. The goal was to save the bridge, which was done, and now the long-term plans need to be discussed.
“This meeting will be run by my board of directors [from NSRGA Workin’ Bridges],” Bowers said.
The meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Kalona Chamber of Commerce building. The progress of the renovation being done on Bunker Mill Bridge will be discussed and what is left in the renovation process, Bowers said.
“All of the trusses have been repaired,” Bowers said. “We’re now working on replacing the steel stringers. We also found out during our work that the north approach of the bridge is off by 7 inches, which we’re going to have to address.”
The estimated cost for repairing the bridge from the damage the fire did in August 2013 is $432,650, according to a collaborative billing statement from NSRGA Workin’ Bridges.
Also on the agenda is the group structure of a friends committee group. In October 2013, Bunker Mill Bridge was sold to the Friends of Bunker Mill Bridge (FBMB) and NSRGA Workin’ Bridges.
The previous FBMB board disbanded last month after conflicts about when FBMB should file for its own 501(c)(3) status, Bowers said. FBMB was using NSRGA Workin’ Bridges nonprofit status to have a bank account for donations for the renovation.
According to Bowers, NSRGA Workin’ Bridges will continue to own the bridge until the renovation process is complete and then will give it back to the community of Kalona, which will also be discussed at the meeting Tuesday evening.
“We’re just here to save the bridge,” Bowers said.