BENTON COUNTY — Members of the Arkansas Department of Transportation, Benton County officials, and State Representative Delia Haak (R-91) met on Monday morning for a ribbon-cutting at Osage Creek Bridge.
The bridge is located on Old Arkansas 68 — also known as County Road 1785 — in rural Benton County, just west of Logan Road, about six miles east of Siloam Springs.
The ceremony was to officially open the new Osage Creek Bridge, replacing a bridge which had become unsafe, according to Benton County Judge Barry Moehring.
ArDOT director Lori Tudor spoke about the bridge, saying it was the longest bridge in rural Benton County at 502 feet, and congratulated Crossland Heavy Contractors for the work it did on the bridge.
“They finished early and on budget,” Tudor said. “You can’t ask for more than that, especially on a highway budget.”
Moehring said the old bridge was only around 300 feet long and cracked to the point that people could see the water down below. He said the partnership between ArDOT, the Benton County Quorum Court and the Benton County Road Department has helped to repair many of the unsafe bridges in the county.
“One of the things that I’ve learned as county judge is that bridges are challenging projects,” Moehring said. “They take a lot of time and they take a lot of teamwork.”
The judge said the county has a close relationship with ArDOT, which sends Moehring reports on the conditions of bridges and informs the county on bridge repairs needed. ArDOT’s diligence is one of the reasons why the county can do this, he said.
Moehring said the quorum court has funded projects like the Osage Creek Bridge, making its bridge program possible. Moehring said the court acted on approving these plans and the road department has worked on 1,400 miles of county road and more than 100 bridges.
“If it weren’t for a partnership like this, bridges like this would not be repaired and bridges like this would be unsafe,” Moehring said.
“Within two or three years, we will have no structurally deficient bridges,” he said.