BONO, AR (KAIT) – Residents in Bono, Arkansas are fed up. The historic Bono Bridge has been closed and blocked off for sometime time now. The railway is concerned the bridge is a liability. Now, the town is speaking out.
Ask anyone around, and they will tell you the Bono Bridge has been an eye sore for some time. Citizens are banding together to put pressure on the railroad company to change that.
Since a car crashed into the bridge in 2009, it has been shut down and in need of repairs. Residents gathered Friday night to sign a petition urging Burlington Northern-Santa Fe railroad to reopen the bridge. "They're not wanting to repair the bridge because it's a liability to them and it does benefit the railroad in anyway...so they don't need the bridge but people in the community need the bridge," says Steve Cline
"I think the railroad will listen when they see how many people want to reopen it," says resident L.M. Duncan.
"We look everyday is it open yet? Is it open yet? The bridge saves so much time so much gas," says resident Tammy Freeze, who moved to Bono about a year ago. "I have quite a few health issues, some major health issues but one of the factors about buying a house out here is we're close to my doctors on 63 but we could just hope right over that bridge and be there." In emergency type situations, where every moment counts, having to go an extra four miles around could mean the difference in life or death.
The Bono Bridge has been a part of this community for over a hundred years, and holds a lot of memories. If the petition doesn't work, residents do have other ideas. "If it doesn't we'll try some other options maybe put it on the registry of historic sites or a lawsuit maybe," says Cline.
The town could even possibly receive grant money to preserve the bridge for the historical site. "If I can show them, that it could save them some money, and they would get an honor out of it, they might be will to proceed," says concerned citizen Claudia Shannon.
The bridge means so much to residents in Bono, not only as a short-cut, but as a center piece in the community. The town doesn't plan on letting it go without a fight.