New bridge to replace failing structure in Sharp County

New bridge to replace failing structure in Sharp County
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)
(Source: KAIT)

SHARP COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - A new bridge is under construction in Sharp County to replace one that just can't handle the weight anymore.

The bridge is on Nelsonville Road in Calamine.

Road Superintendent Dan Melbourne said they have had to repair it before because it was starting to cave in.

"This bridge here was originally in Kentucky," Melbourne said. "And they tore the bridge down in Kentucky and it was for sale."

Sharp County bought the bridge sometime in the 1960s.

Back then, it could handle the residential traffic, but now that Ozark Mountain Poultry is located in Sharp County there are about six chicken houses on that road.

The bridge can't continue to hold the weight of trucks that come through there regularly.

"It withstood the local traffic, but now that the industry has come in here, the chicken house industry that is coming through here, the bridge is failing desperately," Melbourne said. "So, we're going to replace it and make it safe."

The new bridge costs about $1.6 million in total, but thanks to the Arkansas Department of Transportation's state aid program, the county is only paying about $30,000 for it.

"As you can see, today the water is running pretty good underneath it, but I have seen the water over the top of that bridge," Melbourne said. "So that's another reason why we're replacing it. It's for the safety factor."

The new bridge is about 10 feet higher than the older one.

Copyright 2017 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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