BY LEANN DILBECK –
Residents of Board Camp are enjoying the completion of a new bridge along Polk County Road 62 that had been destroyed during a flooding incident in 2013.
Initially, FEMA had indicated that they would assist in partially funding a replacement but then later denied the request based on their opinion of the decades old construction methods and condition at the time of the flood. Even though, according to Polk County Judge Brandon Ellison, the bridge was being used daily, supporting poultry, feed, and log trucks before the flood. “The posted limit was 10 tons, far exceeding the minimum of 3 tons that the AHTD (Arkansas Highway Transportation Department) requires for closure,” and is precisely the basis for his appeal but added that he is not “too optimistic about the outcome.”
The new 24-feet wide by 32-feet long bridge is engineered by Vaughn Engineering and was constructed by Silco Construction, Inc. from Scott County who had submitted the lowest bid of $139,775. The demolition, channel re-direction work, bank restoration and elevated bridge approaches were completed by the Polk County Road Department.
Among the most notable improvements is the significantly higher elevation of the new bridge. It is constructed of steel girders and concrete and also features guard rails and 4-wing walls. The County acquired, placed and compacted approximately 800 cubic yards of fill from a local source to the elevate the new approaches and then they were topped off with approximately 100 cubic yards of road base.
“I am very proud of our new bridge and I know the affected citizens who have been inconvenienced are too,” said Ellison. “This is a very strong and modern bridge and because it is of sufficient design, it will not be required to have a posted load limit.”