An update on the Bono Bridge status

By Keith Boles - bio | email feedback

BONO, AR (KAIT) - It has been almost a year to the day since the Bono Bridge was closed.

At one time we were told a new bridge would be built. There was also talk of having it listed as a historic place, but so far nothing seems to have been accomplished and the bridge just sits there.

Almost a year ago to the day I stood on the same spot and told you about the Bono bridge being closed while its status was being re-evaluated. Here it is almost a year and there still seems to be a lot of confusion about this bridge.

Tim Williams lives next to the bridge. "From what I understand it's their (BNSF) responsibility not the county's but the county road was here before the bridge so it's a fight between the county and the railroad."

Craighead County Judge Dale Haas says the bridge's status has moved on to a higher authority.

"The railroad's responsible for the maintenance of the bridge or the construction of a new bridge but the authority on whether the bridge is there or not falls in the hands in my understanding and the railroads understanding with the Arkansas Highway Commission."

But when I called the Highway Department and spoke to them. They said they hadn't heard a thing on the status of this bridge or getting involved in either getting it replaced or saying what was going to happen to it.

Tim Williams says the traffic is still bad even with the No Outlet signs and Road Closed signs on Gainsville road that leads to the bridge.

"I have to call law enforcement out. People out there all times of night don't know what they're doing , just a lot of mess down there. My driveway is the turn-around for everybody that comes down here. They've spun out all my gravel on the road. I just replaced all my tiles and it's just one headache after another."

Williams says since his property runs right up to the bridge he is afraid someone could get hurt on his property and he would be held liable.

The biggest holes on the bridge have been repaired somewhat but the overall condition of the bridge still presents a hazard.

What's going to happen to the bridge should have been decided and given to the people by now Judge Haas says .

"I think it's absolutely ridiculous to take this much time. They expect and answer and they expect a timely answer which should have been made several months ago."

We were able to speak to a BNSF representative who says that "negotiations" are still underway between the railroad....and the county not the state.

We will keep you updated.

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