Congresswoman Finkenauer Tours Buchanan County Bridges

Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer was in Buchanan County yesterday on an infrastructure tour.

Finkenauer and Chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio toured two of the county’s bridges – both of which were formerly deemed structurally deficient and improved under Keierleber’s leadership while using non-traditional methods. The first one was a bridge on Lee Avenue in Independence and the other is the Cedar Rock Bridge made from Gruen-Wald engineered laminate. The two heard from Buchanan County Engineer Brian Keierleber about the unique challenges his county faces while trying to maintain structurally deficient bridges.

“Here in Buchanan County we’re working to improve our structurally deficient bridges and ensure Iowans have safe infrastructure,” said Buchanan County Engineer Brian Keierleber. “I am happy Congresswoman Finkenauer invited the Chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure to our community to see the challenges we’re facing, and to see the creative methods we’re using to try and address them. Still, we have a lot more work to do and these projects are expensive. I appreciate the congresswoman’s efforts to raise awareness of the needs of communities like ours and the needs of local roads across the country.”

Afterwards, Finkenauer and DeFazio headed to Cedar Rapids to lead a roundtable discussion with local labor leaders. During the discussion, Finkenauer and DeFazio heard about how federal fund-swapping could impact infrastructure projects and the need to expand skilled union apprenticeships and jobs.

“Rebuilding Iowa’s infrastructure is one of my top priorities. I am working to make sure a House Surface Transportation Reauthorization bill includes common sense solutions to achieve that goal for Iowans in our district,” Congresswoman Finkenauer said, “Today, Chairman DeFazio saw first-hand how some of our engineers are forced to get take extreme measures just to ensure Iowans have safe bridges and roads. Our tour today is just one example of how desperately our communities need help.”

“I was glad to join Representative Finkenauer in her home district to tour and learn about local labor and transportation needs,” said Chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Peter DeFazio (D-OR). “We had the opportunity to meet with local engineers, plumbers, pipefitters and more to discuss the challenges and opportunities they face. Representative Finkenauer’s commitment to men and women working in the transportation industry is just another reason I am glad to have her as a colleague on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.”

The Congresswoman’s office says Monday’s tour and roundtable discussion were key in ensuring Iowa’s critical infrastructure needs and unique challenges are incorporated in Congress’ upcoming work on a Surface Transportation Reauthorization Act.