BY MELANIE BUCK –
Polk County Judge Brandon Ellison has announced that the County’s road crews have put another large project in the books for this year. The bridge on Polk County Road 40 was originally built about 25 years ago, however, after the last few years of floods and storms, it has been damaged beyond just minor repairs.
The rebuilt bridge over Cedar Creek on Polk 40 was set to re-open by the end of the workday this past Monday, August 24.
The bridge was 70 percent ruined just from the May floods of this year. While the bridge was out of commission Judge Ellison made the decision to increase the length of the concrete structure from the pre-existing 19 feet, to 31 feet long. “This was not the first flood that damaged this bridge, however, this flood caused catastrophic failure to the south abutment footing, abutment, and wing walls. Since there had been damage before and the deck had to be removed for repair anyway, it just made sense to expand the bridge while it was out of service,” said Judge Ellison.
The damage occurred because too much water was being forced through too small of an opening, causing turbulence and erosion. To remedy this situation, Judge Ellison said that the additional length of the opening was added and over 2,400 tons of large rocks were removed from the channel around the bridge creating extra volume. The bridge will retain its original 24-foot width.