Last night (April 14) my husband and I attended a meeting of the Clinton County Board of Supervisors in Wheatland to hear the discussion surrounding the proposed options for the Old Highway 30 bridges across the Wapsipinicon River outside of Wheatland. All three bridges have now been closed and access for landowners in the area is restricted. It also restricts access to a widely used boat dock/landing that is used for recreational purposes. Todd Kinney, the County Engineer, did a great job of answering questions and presenting the various options.
Fire departments in the area wrote letters letting the Supervisors know that any water rescue on the Wapsi would be greatly impeded if there were no access points other than through Toronto or Sherman Park. They were in support of restoring the bridges to maintain access.
The Hometown Pride Committees of both Calamus and Wheatland were there. Their literature stated that their committees “support and are willing to work with the Supervisors and the community-at-large to develop and obtain funding for improvements to the Wapsi River Bridges - Old Lincoln Highway Trail Project.” Their restoration project includes recreational usage and a connecting trail between Calamus and Wheatland.
Many community members who were there support bridge restoration so that the area may be used recreationally by bicyclers, boaters, walkers, runners, ATVs, UTVs, and snowmobilers. The only option for these users now would be to travel across the Wapsi on Highway 30 along with the traffic (which is illegal) or travel 18 miles north to go around.
The western part of Clinton County does not have any recreational area like this. It is a unique opportunity for our county to expand and improve recreational opportunities. We have the opportunity to showcase a historical area and three historical bridges.
Since I recently received my “notice of increase” from the county commissioned property tax hike, I’d like to think that some of that money would be staying in or near my community.