Optimism rises that bridge will be built this year
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has issued the necessary permit before the Taylor bridge project could move ahead.
The 408 permit, which deals with a flood levee near the bridge site in northern Marion County, was issued last week, County Coordinator Teya Stice said.
"MECO Engineering has the permit in hand and is forging ahead full speed with finishing the design so we can get that bridge let for bid and get construction started as soon as we can on it," said David Lomax, Marion County's presiding commissioner. "It would've been nice if we could of gotten it (408 permit) earlier, but with water levels being up like they are they made not of gotten a whole lot done anyway."
Lomax said the county has been anticipating the issuance of the 408 permit since the first of this year.
"It took way longer than we expected it to," he said. "I think it was the Corps of Engineers' first go around with a new and improved permit process, which I don't think was very much improved."
While reluctant to offer a timeline as to when the new Taylor bridge will be open, Stice is hopeful that the project will be completed sooner than later.
"I'm sure it will be within this year," she said. "It is just the first of May. Hopefully we will have good weather all through the summer and into the fall and we will get that bridge replaced for the people up there."
The 201-foot Taylor bridge on County Road 313 crosses the North Fabius River. It was closed on Nov. 8, 2017, on the recommendation of the Missouri Department of Transportation after multiple inspections that year revealed deterioration throughout the bridge, particularly in the floor beams that run directly under the concrete deck. MoDOT concluded that the span, which opened in 1929, could no longer safely hold the weight of a car.