Dam, bridge projects hit another snag

A two-man crew was working on some preparations to the new bridge at Rum River in Recreation Park last week.

Eventually, it seems, there will be a new pedestrian bridge over the Rum River at Rec Park.

But plans to get the two-year-old project going in early August have been scrapped, compliments of the Army Corps of Engineers.

The project, which will also include the removal of an old dam there, was scheduled to start after the city’s Rec Fest was held in late July.

But a call in mid-July from a representative of the Army Corps of Engineers put a hold on removing the old bridge, City Manager Greg Lerud told City Council members at their Aug. 16 meeting.

The reason given was that, at the last minute, someone decided there may be historical value to the bridge, built in the 1930s.

Milaca had received a state permit for the project from the DNR, and a federal permit from the Army Corps, as well as a letter from the Minnesota Historical Society.

Now, Lerud was told, a Section 106 historical evaluation of the bridge must be done before the project can proceed.

Lerud talked with an Army Corps representative on Monday morning this week and was told a letter of suspension would be sent to the city.

“We informed the contractor that things are on hold,” Lerud said at last Thursday’s council meeting, noting that he had sent a packet of information to the Army Corps after the phone call to suspend the project.

For the full story, see the Thursday, Aug. 23 print edition of the Times.