City Considers Resolution: Repair of Black River Bridge

LAWRENCE COUNTY, AR -- People in Lawrence County are worried about the future of one of their major thoroughfares after the collapse of the 35-W bridge in Minnesota last month.

Now, the city of Walnut Ridge is trying to pass a resolution to take a more active role in getting the attention of Arkansas legislators so they will take a look at the bridge.

Tom McHaney has a business in Walnut Ridge but lives on the other side of the Black River Bridge, and crosses it up to six times a day.

"Over the past ten years it seems like it's becoming a little more fragile.  I have a feeling, even though it's possibly a sound structure that they need to be thinking about a replacement for it in the future," said McHaney.

Walnut Ridge Mayor Michelle Rogers said even though this bridge isn't in her city, many people who work in Walnut Ridge use the bridge every day.

In early August the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department was out checking the bridge.  The bridge is one of dozens in Region 8 considered ''structurally deficient".  Not only would a collapse of this bridge be dangerous, it would also be a loss to those who need to get across the Black River.

"It is very important to the county and to the area.  The loss of it would be a financial disaster to Walnut Ridge and Northeast Arkansas," said McHaney.

"Hopefully some of the other cities and towns in Lawrence County will take a look at this and decide to get on the wagon with this and see what we can get accomplished through our state leaders and national leaders," said Rogers.