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Author Topic: AR 7 Buffalo River Bridge  (Read 560 times)

ozarkman417

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AR 7 Buffalo River Bridge
« on: June 15, 2020, 01:42:04 PM »

About two weeks ago, I took a day trip to float the popular Ponca to Kyle's Landing stretch of the Buffalo National River. Highly recommended, as just about anybody who has basic canoeing/kayaking skills can do it, with enough easy Class I rapids to keep it far from boring. Go on weekdays if possible, it gets quite crowded.

Anyway, my way back to Springfield took me on "Scenic Seven", between Jasper and Harrison, and I saw that construction has started on a couple of new bridges. I will post what pictures I got below, though it would have been useful to capture a pic of the job info sign (project started Nov. 2019, ends Dec. 2020, IIRC). The project also includes replacing the low-water crossing on the Pruitt-Yardell road with an actual bridge, and it looks like Google Satellite imagery has captured what might be the early groundwork (captured in 4/19, I was last there 5/19, telling me the construction of the bridges themselves is recent work).   

I searched the project on arkansashighways.com, and found this document from 2009 that talks about the possibility of converting the old green truss to a pedestrian path, while transfering ownership from the AHTD to the NPS. It has been ten years since then, so I'm not sure if they still plan on that.. I can't find anything recent on this project on their website.
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ozarkman417

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Re: AR 7 Buffalo River Bridge
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2020, 02:14:57 PM »

.

SM-G965U

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US71

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rte66man

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Re: AR 7 Buffalo River Bridge
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2020, 09:23:13 AM »

https://www.google.com/maps/@36.0621338,-93.1418426,904m/data=!3m1!1e3

Already cleared the land. That bridge is SCARY.
https://www.google.com/maps/@36.0606505,-93.1385586,3a,75y,42.7h,71.68t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sJrR47egeb6_Fo9-ES5UdZw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

What's wrong with it? The bridge is a classic. The new bridge will be a UCEB

No shoulders, deteriorating deck and I wouldn't want to look at the piers. I agree it's a classic design and the new bridge is utilitarian at best, but I still wouldn't want to drive on it.
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US71

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Re: AR 7 Buffalo River Bridge
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2020, 09:34:38 AM »

https://www.google.com/maps/@36.0621338,-93.1418426,904m/data=!3m1!1e3

Already cleared the land. That bridge is SCARY.
https://www.google.com/maps/@36.0606505,-93.1385586,3a,75y,42.7h,71.68t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sJrR47egeb6_Fo9-ES5UdZw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

What's wrong with it? The bridge is a classic. The new bridge will be a UCEB

No shoulders, deteriorating deck and I wouldn't want to look at the piers. I agree it's a classic design and the new bridge is utilitarian at best, but I still wouldn't want to drive on it.

I have.

Sadly, there is little incentive for ARDOT to save old bridges, when the government will give them free money (grants) to help pay for new bridges.
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kphoger

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Re: AR 7 Buffalo River Bridge
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2020, 10:55:40 AM »

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US71

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Re: AR 7 Buffalo River Bridge
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2020, 11:14:08 AM »

ARDOT never has any money to fix/maintain bridges, but there's plenty of money to replace them.
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kphoger

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Re: AR 7 Buffalo River Bridge
« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2020, 11:36:45 AM »

ARDOT never has any money to fix/maintain bridges, but there's plenty of money to replace them.

Truss bridges are discouragingly expensive to maintain.
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kphoger

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Re: AR 7 Buffalo River Bridge
« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2020, 11:45:54 AM »

I searched the project on arkansashighways.com, and found this document from 2009 that talks about the possibility of converting the old green truss to a pedestrian path, while transfering ownership from the AHTD to the NPS. It has been ten years since then, so I'm not sure if they still plan on that.. I can't find anything recent on this project on their website.

I found this:

Quote from: Arkansas Democrat Gazette / Arkansas bridge falling victim to age, upkeep costs / 15-DEC-2019
The old bridge has become something of a white elephant.

The state has offered to give it to the county, but for years, the consensus seems to be that the county can't afford the upkeep.

The bridge is within the boundary of the Buffalo National River, but the National Park Service doesn't want it either.

...

Besides the bridge over the Buffalo River, that amount includes ... demolition of the old Pruitt bridge. That demolition is scheduled to happen late next year.

...

[Steve Lawrence, district engineer for the Arkansas Department of Transportation's office near Harrison, said,] "When we build a new bridge, the federal requirements are that the old structure be removed or somebody else has to take possession of it."
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US71

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Re: AR 7 Buffalo River Bridge
« Reply #10 on: June 16, 2020, 04:12:24 PM »

Originally it was going to turned into a pedestrian bridge before the forest service changed their minds.
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kphoger

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Re: AR 7 Buffalo River Bridge
« Reply #11 on: June 16, 2020, 04:17:11 PM »

Originally it was going to turned into a pedestrian bridge before the forest service changed their minds.

Was that ever an official plan?  I'm not even sure the forest service ever even officially agreed to take it on.
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Re: AR 7 Buffalo River Bridge
« Reply #12 on: June 16, 2020, 05:11:04 PM »

Originally it was going to turned into a pedestrian bridge before the forest service changed their minds.

Was that ever an official plan?  I'm not even sure the forest service ever even officially agreed to take it on.

It may have been AHTD, but the bridge was going to be preserved.
http://www.tiedyetravels.com/2013/12/the-girl-on-bridge.html
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ozarkman417

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Re: AR 7 Buffalo River Bridge
« Reply #13 on: June 16, 2020, 05:39:36 PM »

Quote from: MINUTES OF THE MEETING OF THE ARKANSAS STATE HIGHWAY COMMISSION January 7, 2009
WHEREAS,  the  U.  S.  Department  of  the  Interior,  National  Park  Service,  Buffalo  National  River  has  requested  that  the  Department  transfer Bridge 01689 to the National Park Service for transportation use as a pedestrian bridge
...but that was over ten years ago. Here, it sounds like the National River was the ones who wanted the bridge, as opposed to the other way around.
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Re: AR 7 Buffalo River Bridge
« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2020, 04:19:13 PM »

My two cents on this thread: The 19 miles from Jasper to Harrison on AR 7 took longer than the 56 miles from Dover to Jasper.
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ozarkman417

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Re: AR 7 Buffalo River Bridge
« Reply #15 on: August 01, 2020, 03:19:15 PM »

Quote from: Buffalo National River's Instagram Page
For the next three weeks, vehicle traffic crossing the Pruitt Bridge on Hwy 7. near Jasper may experience long wait times.. These wait times are associated with the delivery of large support beams for the construction of the new bridge.
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