The Wapello County Trails Council is seeking donations to support the repair of the Chief Wapello Trail pedestrian bridge. The historic bridge, spanning the Des Moines River, was damaged in a fire in December of 2021.

This week, the Wapello County Board of Supervisors approved a bid of $428,460 from Iowa Bridge & Culvert, LLC to repair the south approach to the historic Wabash bridge in 2023. The south approach sustained substantial damage in the fire and has been closed to pedestrian traffic since.

The bid does not include connecting the new construction to the metal span that crosses the river. The Wapello County Trails Council has pledged to complete approximately 10 feet to connect the two structures. This work will include repairing damaged bridge decking, fencing, and constructing a section of decking to connect the two structures.

Fundraising to support the bridge will begin immediately. Persons interested in supporting this effort can send donations to Wapello County Trails, PO Box 121, Ottumwa. All donations are tax deductible.

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