A very important piece of lakes area history that few people even know still exists could wind up in a scrap heap, if no one comes forward to restore it.
The old swing bridge that used to be in place on the Highway 71 causeway between East and West Lakes Okoboji. It dates back to the days of the pioneers, in the late 1800's. The swing bridge was eventually replaced and was moved to its current location where a county road crosses the Little Sioux River in the extreme southwest part of the county. The road is now off-limits at the crossing due to the poor condition of the bridge.
County Engineer Dan Eckert says the bridge has even been washed downstream and now rests in the middle of the river. Complicating matters, Eckert said, is the fact the historic bridge is on the State Historic Preservation List
"Whatever we do with it we'll have to get permission from them. The Road Department obviously doesn't plan to use the bridge anymore, it's on a closed road. We'd like to set it on the road for now and maybe get it up off the ground on some blocks or something and hopefully there's some interest in somebody preserving because we'd hate to see it just go to be recycled," Eckert said.
Eckert told the supervisors this week getting the bridge out of the river will likely come with a hefty price tag, as special equipment will be needed. The supervisors directed Eckert to do some research on it and come back with estimates.