UPDATE: Demolition paused due to bridge collapse concerns in the - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

UPDATE: Demolition paused due to bridge collapse concerns in the town of Lafayette

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Town of Lafayette (WQOW) - Demolition began on the Lafayette bridge this week. You'll remember it was shut down Mother's Day weekend because of damage caused by a heavy load. However, construction workers are running into a bit of a problem.

Tim MacLaughlin, vice president of operations for Larson Construction Co., said they recently attempted saw cuts, but the bridge was not stabilizing. He said any vibrations from work with saws or even jackhammers could risk the 500,000 pound bridge deck to collapse. Larson Construction Co. is currently exploring other options to prevent this collapse. 

Officials estimated costs of the project to be between $50,000 and $100,000. They hope to finish their work in the next couple of weeks. MacLaughlin said boaters will be able to use that pass once demolition is finished.


Town of Lafayette (WQOW) -- A bridge that partially collapsed over Mother's Day weekend will be demolished.

Town of Lafayette Chairman Dave Staber told News 18 that the bridge will be torn down starting the third week of June, with the $60,000 demolition slated to be completed by July 4. 

Staber said they hope to take bids for the new bridge January 2019 and begin construction in May. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation has capped their spending on the project at $960,000, which means the town and county will need to make up the difference of the estimated $1.3 million project.

Staber is warning all drivers to not test their luck on the bridge, adding: "It could come down at any time". Staber also said no boats will be allowed to travel under the bridge while the demolition is underway.
 



Town of Lafayette (WQOW) -- A Chippewa County bridge is closed indefinitely after it was damaged beyond repair.

The bridge, in the Town of Lafayette, which crosses Paint Creek, is closed until is can be replaced.

Town Chairman, David Staber, told News 18 the bridge was supposed to be replaced this year, with a projected cost of just under $1 million, but that date was pushed to 2021 and now has an estimated price tag of $1.7 million.

Staber said the DOT told the town board there are not enough funds to replace the bridge right now. However, Staber said it can't wait three years, especially with the fire department just down the road.

It has not been officially determined, but Staber told News 18 the damage could have been caused by a driver who ignored the 18-ton weight limit. Staber also said they are working as quickly as possible to fix the issue, but he asked in the mean-time, for drivers to be patient.

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