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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Mill Creek Bridge rebuilt

Thursday, September 4, 2008

With some help from FEMA, the Mill Creek Bridge south of Myrtle has been re-built. The bridge was destroyed by flooding April 10. Presiding Commissioner Leo Warren, Southern District Commissioner John Wrenfrow and Travis Morrison from Thayer Redi Mix inspect the work done on the bridge. Photo by Jan Thompson
MYRTLE -- Travelers from Arkansas, lumber and log trucks, folks going to the Myrtle Church and folks going to the Walnut Grove Church and even the mail carrier, can now cross Mill Creek bridge south of Myrtle.

The bridge located on County Road 277 was destroyed by flood waters April 10.

Southern District Commissioner John Wrenfrow said the bridge, which is heavily used, collapsed in the middle due to flooding.

"Eighty foot of the old bridge was demolished. There was what I call blue gumbo mud under the bridge. We took all the old concrete out of the old bridge and went down to where there was solid rock," he said.

The work was done by Burk Construction of Thayer, Carl and Sons of Thayer and Thayer Redi Mix.

Six, 36-inch culverts now replace the two-foot, 20-inch culverts that were there before.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) paid for 80 feet, $82,000, of the 190 foot bridge. The county will foot the bill for the rest of the cost of the new bridge. Oregon County Presiding Commissioner Leo Warren said he doesn't have a final cost of the bridge project because all the bills are not in yet.

Before the bridge collapsed it was 17-feet wide and now it is 24-feet wide.

"This will help people save on fuel and time. They were having to go a ways out of their way; this is a good cut-through road for people in this end of the county," Wrenfrow said.

There is one FEMA project left and it is ditch work on County Road 223. All FEMA projects have to be complete before the county can receive their 15 percent of funds from State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA).

"The public has been patient and we have had a lot of comments from people happy with the new bridge," Wrenfrow said.

"Thayer Redi Mix has been proud to be a small part of this project. This will help tie the community back together," Travis Morrison, owner of Thayer Redi Mix, said.

"We're glad FEMA was able to help put this bridge back the way it should be. We hope the community likes the work done here. Big John did a good job," Warren said.

He said one of the reasons the Mill Creek Bridge project took so long is because Oregon County was one of the last counties in the state FEMA served after the spring flooding.

Wrenfrow said it took a month to get a report from the engineer and then it took another month to get a permit from the Corp of Engineers.

Now that all the flood projects are near completion, county employees can get back in their normal routine of grading the county roads. "We are about a month behind with our grading this summer due to having to work on flooding problems. It may take us a little bit longer this year, but we will get our county roads graded," Wrenfrow said.

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