Millville brothers have fears about safety

By John Weiss

Post-Bulletin, Rochester MN

MILLVILLE — From the front window of their car-repair business, Scott and Gary Becklund can see the old green metal bridge crossing the Zumbro River in Millville.

Soon, they will be able to see a crew building a new one.

The brothers are worried.


The approach for the new one will take about 15 feet off the concrete driveway and sidewalk in front of the Becklund Auto Repair and Towing.

The Becklunds repair a lot of long farm trucks and don’t always have someone around to be outside as they back out the vehicle, said Scott Becklund. They worry that a child on the sidewalk could be hit.

"We’re going to lose work space, but that is far outweighed by the lack of safety," Scott said.

County Engineer Dietrich Flesch, however, said the approach’s design meets all safety standards and he believes its safe. Citizens were involved in the planning process at several meetings and he said he can’t recall that safety at the Becklund’s corner was brought up.

Several design options were offered and the community wanted this one, he said.

The new bridge will cost $1.8 million — nearly $2.1 million with access work, he said. Money will come from the Minnesota Department of Transportation and the county’s state aid for transportation.

The contractor wants to begin work in early December, starting with the piers and abutments.

County Administrator Dave Johnson said replacing the bridge is not something the county chose to do. After the Interstate 35W bridge collapse in Minneapolis, MnDOT looked at other bridges, including the Millville one.


"The state of Minnesota says it has to go," he said.

Millville Mayor Todd Cutting said he’s heard little about concerns about safety from others.

"I believe the county has done what they feel is right for the bridge," he said. "In the end, I think it will be fine."

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