Pentecostal Bridge collapses

By Neal A. Johnson, UD Editor
Posted 8/17/20

An Osage County landmark was destroyed following a mishap just before noon today at Westphalia in which the Pentecostal Bridge on CR 611 collapsed.

Deputies were initially dispatched at 11:40 a.m. …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

E-mail
Password
Log in

Pentecostal Bridge collapses

Posted

An Osage County landmark was destroyed following a mishap just before noon today at Westphalia in which the Pentecostal Bridge on CR 611 collapsed.

Deputies were initially dispatched at 11:40 a.m. after Osage County Road & Bridge Department called it in to assist a stranded motorist on CR 611, but Cpt. Travis Schaffer said he and Cpl. Ricky Jarvis could not find the driver, David Landau, 55, of Iowa, who is employed by Stutsman Trucking of Hills, Iowa.

Schaffer said he and Jarvis were subsequently dispatched to the bridge, and Westphalia Fire Department volunteers were dispatched at 11:55 a.m. The bridge was confirmed collapsed at noon, according to Schaffer.

Landau was transporting feed and non-toxic materials to Nutra Ag, formerly the Westphalia Mill, when GPS mapping directed him to Westphalia along CR 611. However, his approach to the bridge was too steep and he became stuck.

Schaffer said Landau made an attempt to navigate the tight corner but soon realized he could not, and the truck was stuck, with the cab on the bridge itself. Landau backed up in an attempt to clear the bridge when the brush guard on the front of his truck clipped an I-beam, which led to the collapse of the bridge.

Pentecostal Bridge has a five-ton limit, and Second District Commissioner Larry Kliethermes noted that signs indicating the weight limit are clearly posted well before the bridge in both directions, and signs are posted at the bridge itself as well.

The trailer was stuck on the west end of the bridge, and the tractor plunged approximately 30 feet to the water below. Landau was not injured in the accident and managed to climb up the hill to the roadway.

There were no reported spills of petroleum in the Maries River, which at this location is nine feet in depth.

By 2 p.m., two cranes were in place on the west side of the bridge, along with a rotator, a big semi truck that can turn on a swivel, which will be used in part to remove the tractor.

Equipment had by then removed the trailer from the edge of the bridge.

Removal of the wreckage, including the bridge, began this afternoon with the hope of removing the tractor by this evening.

Jarvis confirmed the plan is to cut the top part of the bridge and then remove the tractor.

Concrete barriers have been put into place by the Osage County Road & Bridge Department, and through-traffic has been diverted from the area.

Students who normally use Pentecostal Bridge have been notified they will have to find an alternate route, but Superintendent Chuck Woody said there are no bus routes along CR 611.

A full story, along with the history of the bridge, will be presented in this week’s issue of the Unterrified Democrat.

Comments

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment