Out for almost four years a bridge is currently under construction by city of Booneville Water Department personnel at Marcelle Phillips City Park.
It was late October in 2009 when debris pushed by high water dislodged a column beneath the foot bridge and, essentially, caused the bridge to collapse.
“That was the joining column,” said water department superintendent David Hardin. “Everything joined in the middle.”
Multiple efforts to replace the bridge went for naught and when it did appear the bridge would be replaced there ended up being two options, according to Hardin.
Hardin said Buddy Littlefield had offered to acquire a bridge from Little Rock but Walter Toney of Magazine offered to donate the metal beams that will serve as the bridge foundation.
“He was very kind,” said Hardin.
The project is being addressed when water department personnel find themselves with spare time, which due to the nature of the work, means several hours. Last Wednesday was one of those days.
Then, with Larry Maness operating a back hoe and John Schlinker, Darren Yarborough and John Olsen positioning the metal beams which, Hardin said, allowed the creek to be spanned without re-installing the support column.
“And there’s no column there for debris to hang up on,” Hardin added.
Because the project is being completed as time allows, Hardin said there is no targeted date, but when the crew is working on the project, all remarks have been favorable.
After the metal support rails are completed the next step will be to install the treated lumber planks which will serve as the floor, along with the hand rails.
“Kind of, sort of like the floor was before,” Hardin said.
Without the bridge anyone hoping to access both sides of the creek either has to drive around to, or from the pavilion or wade the creek.