BONO, AR (KAIT) - Bids to construct a new Bono Bridge were submitted to the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department Wednesday.
Craighead County Roads 352 and 353 are now one step closer to being connected again.
In 2011, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad tore the bridge down without any warning to county officials. Since then, the county has worked to obtain the right of way for the project.
The absence of a bridge left residents on County Road 353 with no immediate access to Highway 63.
"It was a real disappointment with the railroad when they tore the bridge out," Duane Wiles said. "It's very inconvenient to get from here to the highway. To get anywhere on 63, we have to go around on Hasbrook [Lane] and Dan [Avenue], all the way over there or around through Bono."
Wiles lived in the area when he was growing up. Though he moved away for awhile, he now lives on the same property again.
In late August, Craighead County Judge Ed Hill told Region 8 News that BNSF signed an agreement to allow for the new bridge to be constructed over the tracks. It was the last piece of documentation the county needed before moving forward with bids for the project.
Region 8 News spoke with Duane Wiles almost exactly two years ago when funding and easement talks were going on. He said it's exciting to know that the project could start soon.
"A lot of my neighbors, we can hardly wait til we get a bridge across there," Wiles said.
Four bids on the project were submitted to AHTD Wednesday.
The bids submitted range from $3.2 million to $4.2 million.
- Mobley Contractors Inc., Morrilton, AR: $3,296,151.78
- Dement Construction Co., LLC, Jackson, TN: $3,399,338.75
- Manhattan Road & Bridge Co., Tulsa, OK: $3,778,901.20
- Robertson Contractors, Inc., Poplar Bluff, MO: $4,213,588.87
County Judge Ed Hill said he expects to hear from AHTD Thursday morning on which bid was chosen.
In the end, the project will be 80% federally funded. The bridge will not be constructed in the same spot as the old bridge, but it will be near it.
Updated at 8:36 p.m., Sept. 28:
Mobley Contractors, Inc. of Morrilton was the accepted low bid Wednesday for the project, County Judge Ed Hill said in an email Wednesday to Craighead County justices.
The bid for $3,286,151.78, is a grant funded project with 80% of the funding coming from the federal government, 18% from the state of Arkansas and 2% from Craighead County.
The project will cost Craighead County $65,723.04, with $48,000 already paid by the county, Hill said.
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