Chippewa County Board approves replacing Cobban Bridge - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Chippewa County Board approves replacing Cobban Bridge


Chippewa County (WQOW) -- The much debated future of historic Cobban Bridge in Chippewa county was decided on Tuesday.

The Chippewa County Board voted to replace the bridge with a new one at the same site.

The the bridge is currently shut down over safety concerns. Several residents from the community came out to support the construction of a new bridge. Residents said a new bridge is needed to allow emergency services to arrive in a timely manner and would help to cut down on drive times.

“Taking kids to Cornell schools, back way to Cadott. It's families fastest way to Chippewa, wedding deliveries, cutting to Cornell, banking. As you can see this bridge was an important means of getting across the Chippewa river for many people in our area," Chippewa County resident Marilyn Murphy told the crowd at the board meeting.

The cost of this recommendation is roughly $8 million, but the Highway Department says the county could only have to pay 20 percent of that after applying for a federal grant.

Posted: 8/2/17
Chippewa County (WQOW) - An historic bridge over the Chippewa River is closing.

Brian Kelley, the highway commissioner for the Chippewa County Highway Department, said during annual bridge safety inspections on July 19 and 20, crews noticed changes to the bridge's condition. He said the bridge's fracture critical steel components raised safety concerns.

Kelley told News 18 about 250 cars travel on the Cobban Bridge every day.

In a press release sent Wednesday, the Chippewa County Highway Department said it will conduct further analysis of the steel bridge components. Kelley said there is no scheduled date to reopen the bridge.

News 18 recently reported when area residents shared their reaction to a Chippewa County committee's recommendation to tear down the bridge.

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