By Ivan Raconteur
LESTER PRAIRIE, MN More than two years and $750,000 later, motorists can again cross the Crow River on Babcock Avenue near Lester Prairie.
McLeod County Engineer John Brunkhorst announced last Tuesday that the new bridge was open to traffic.
The new bridge, designated as Bridge 43552, replaces Bridge 5881.
The old bridge was closed due to structural deficiencies on Dec. 7, 2007, and residents have been detoured ever since.
The old bridge was removed late in 2008 to make room for the new structure.
Although some residents have expressed dissatisfaction with the time it took to replace the bridge, contractor Duininck Bros. of Prinsburg completed the work in the time allowed under the contract, according to Brunkhorst.
In order to get the bridge completed as soon as possible, Bergen Township agreed to take over the new bridge and County Road 84 so that state township bridge funds could be used for the project.
The county had owned the old bridge and the road, but said it did not have the funds to replace the bridge.