Quasqueton's Main Bridge to Reopen This Week
By Brady Smith, Reporter
QUASQUETON, Iowa - Shutting down the only bridge in a river community, even a small one like Quasqueton, can cause big problems for local stores.
"The convenience stores, and the taverns, because you're losing half your customer base from the south," said former Quasqueton mayor Lee Bossom on Wednesday.
He said the Quasky Mart has cut some of their hours, and the tavern down the street took a 20% hit to its business since the bridge was closed to road traffic this spring.
"It's been tough on them," said Bossom.
He and other residents are excited, as the bridge is set to reopen for the weekend. One of them is Ronnie Wolfe, owner of Wolfey's Wapsi Outback, who gets a lot of customers from south of town.
"The weeks are quite a bit slower, and we don't get our normal customers from down there," said Wolfe. "But you know, the employees from the bridge has kept us fairly normal."
Wolfe lives only a few minutes from his bar when the bridge is open. Since its closure, however, he's had to take the scenic route into work.
"Right now, I've got to take gravel for about 5 miles, and it takes me about 15 minutes to get here, and this summer I went by boat quite a bit because we've got a dock in the back, so it wasn't all bad," Wolfe told us.
The rebuilding process hasn't been all bad, either, according to project manager Brian Connell with Minnowa Construction. His crew is about 3 weeks ahead of schedule, thanks to good weather and friendly people.
"We've had quite the audience, especially when we were setting beams and during the deck pour," Connell explained.
He was putting on some finishing touches Wednesday afternoon; a bit of fresh concrete here, a dash of yellow paint there, and then Quasky will be back in business.
"They're chomping at the bit to cross the bridge with their golf carts," said Connell.
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