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About Us

The North Skunk River Greenbelt Association - NSRGA was founded in 2010 and is dedicated to the preservation of greenbelts and historic truss bridges.

Board of Directors

Laran Bowers & Anna Sutherland - Co - President
Angie Thompson Rauch - Vice President
Jaydine Good - Secretary Treasurer
Steve Rauch - Director
Molly Duncan - Director
Julie Bowers - Executive Director

Workin’ Bridges was founded by Julie Bowers and Nels Raynor at the end of 2010 to provide consulting for other bridge restoration projects while we tried to figure out how to save our own bowstring bridge. Since then we have analyzed over 30 bridges and started construction on 6 projects. Each bridge project is different. We break it down into understandable components and price it as if it were our own.

Julie Bowers is the Executive Director of The N. Skunk River Greenbelt Association (NSRGA), a non-profit she helped found in 2010 to save an historic bowstring bridge in Iowa. Along with master craftsman Nels Raynor, Ms. Bowers formed the organization Workin' Bridges in 2010, under the umbrella of NSRGA, to assist others across the country in historic bridge preservation efforts. Ms. Bowers is a graduate of Grinnell College and a 4th generation contractor dedicated to providing realistic rehabilitation costs, INTRODUCING COLLABORATIVE ways TO FUNDRAISE for those not experienced in bridge restoration, and to making historic bridge preservation economical for OFF SITE adaptive reuse. She is presently involved in historic bridge preservation efforts in 12 states. In 2014, Ms. Bowers researched the reuse of Wiley's Bridge in Berks County, which lead to her work with Preservation Pennsylvania and PennDOT's Bridge Marketing Program. Current projects include delivering a variety of historic bridges to the Deparment of Natural Resources and Environment Control (DNREC) for a trail project in Yorklyn, Delaware.

Nels Raynor – Owner - BACH Steel, Holt, Michigan. Nels has been working in the steel industry since the 80s and started his own business in 1992. He has worked on historic trusses since 1998 and began collaborating on historic bridge projects with Workin’ Bridges as a co-founder in 2010. He is an expert in historic materials such as wrought iron as well as the process of hot riveting and steel and iron fabrication. In the last two years Nels has worked with Davis Construction Inc. (DCI) out of Lansing, Michigan on restoring three historic Pratt trusses in Texas through the TxDOT Historic Truss Bridge Program and most recently a Friends driven restoration of Bunker Mill Bridge in Kalona, Iowa.

Jim Schiffer, PE - The Schiffer Group, Inc. (SGI) , Traverse City, Michigan. Jim helped define the Workin’ Bridges concept for “Targeted Engineering” in 2012. SGI realizes that effective engineering solutions require critical understanding of key points at the onset of any project in order to satisfy clients' needs and expectations. Jim provided his expertise for Waterford Township by drafting a Request for Proposals for the repair of the Waterford Bridge utilizing the Scope of Work prepared at the Workin’ Bridges site visit.  He set forth final construction plans for the Waterford, which was completed in June 2014,  and  for the restoration of Bunker Mill Bridge in Kalona, Iowa. SGI has worked in all aspects of design and construction of bridges for the last twenty years, including steel, precast concrete, cast-in-place concrete, piling, wooden, geotextile and historic materials. Jim has expanded his Michigan license to multi-state registration for professional engineering.

Our 2015 tax return can be found here 2015-north-skunk-river-greenbelt-return. Each year we continue to grow and try to balance our work between contributions of money, time and preservation  construction projects where we can actually make a difference, begin to cover our expanding overhead.

You can help. Let us know about your bridges.

Workin' Bridges - Projects

2017 - Hope Memorial Bowstring / Planned restoration / City of Rosebud, Texas Parks Department / February 2017

2016 - Chandler Mill Site Visit / Scope of Work & Estimate for NRHP PlateGirder Pony Truss - Kennett Township, Pennsylvania

2016 - Springfield-Des Arc Bowstring Restoration Agreement / City of Conway, Arkansas (under construction - to be finished early 2017)

2016 - Hayden Bridge Purchase / Community Outreach & Planning

2016 - Mary Street Bridge, Purchased / Planning Lift & Disassembly, Fairview Township, Mountain Top, Pennsylvania

2016 - Martin Road Bridge, Purchase / Lift & Disassembly, Holt, Michigan

2015 - McIntyre Bridge, Restoration / Engineering, Holt, Michigan

2015 - Marsh Creek Bridge, Restoration / Engineering, Holt, Michigan

2015 - Sandy River Conduit Bridge - Moved into Storage in Sherwood, Oregon

2015 - Wilson Bridge, Site Visit Planned, Dickinson County, Kansas

2015 - Hayden Bridge, Scope Complete, W'B interested, Oregon

2015 - Hotel Bridge, Scope Complete, Massachusetts

2014 - Hope Memorial Bowstring, Scope Complete, Restoration, Texas

2014 - Shelhorne Bridge - DNREC, Scope Complete, Indiana

2014 - Mary Street - PennDOT Bridges for Sale, Scope Complete, Pennsylvania

2014 - Bradford 37 -  PennDOT Bridges for Sale, Scope Complete, Pennsylvania

2014 - Craighead Bridge - PennDOT Bridges for Sale, Scope Complete, Pennsylvania

2014 - Wangum Road Bridge - PennDOT Bridges for Sale, Scoped/Demolished

2009 - McIntyre Bowstring - W'B owns - Iowa to Delaware

2009 - Piano Bridge - Project Completed by Davis Construction and TxDOT, BACH Steel contractor - video on YouTube

2010 - Springfield Bowstring - Local Historic Society, Arkansas

2010 - Long Shoals Bridge - Under Development, Kansas

2010 - Military Bowstrings - Under Development, Kansas

2010 - King Railroad Bridge - Under Development, Kansas

2011 - Mulberry Creek Bridge - Scope Complete, Kansas

2012 - Upper Bluffton - Scope Complete, Demolished, Iowa

2012 - B.B. Comer Bridge - NTHP Economic Impact Study, Alabama

2013 - Bunker Mill Bridge - W'B Owns, Under Construction, Iowa

2013 - Otranto Bridge - Private Owner, Scope Complete, Demolished, Iowa

2014 - Waterford Bridge - W'B Managed, Phase 1 Abutment, Minnesota

2014 - Wileys Bridge - Scope Complete, Pennsylvania

2014 - Marsh Creek Bridge, W'B Owns, Pennsylvania to Delaware

2014 - Portland Water Works - W'B Owns,Oregon to Delaware

2014 - Fountain Island Bowstring, Scope Complete, Wisconsin

2014 - Waterloo Bridge, Scope Complete, Virginia

All project information is available upon request.