RAGBRAI Takes Detour to Visit Sutliff Bridge

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SUTLIFF, Iowa- While many of the RAGBRAI throng of riders kept on the main route, some took the time to visit Sutliff.  This historic bridge was built in 1898 for $12,000. In 2008 floods on the Cedar River washed out a span of the Sutliff Bridge.

“The bridge was built in 1898, and the village formed around the bridge,” said Sarah Brannaman, of the Sutliff Bridge Authority.

RAGBRAI’s 2015 ride concluded Saturday in Davenport.

Johnson County Conservation Board worked with FEMA, The Sutliff Bridge Authority, and the Iowa Historical Society to restore the bridge. A ribbon cutting was held in October of 2012.

Sutliff Bridge was built, as residents at the turn of the century could not get across the river with a ferry anymore, due to sand bars.

After the flood in 2008 1500-2000 RAGBRAI riders went out of their way to see the damaged bridge, it was a longer way then, because they had to back track to get back on RAGBRAI.

“This is much bigger today,” said Brannaman. “This has been a great turnout, everybody’s been very gracious, everybody’s having a lot of fun, including the workers.”

This year thousands of visitors came to Sutliff, and then walked their bikes across the bridge to continue on to the main RAGBRAI route.