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Wednesday, September 17, 2014, 9:03 a.m.
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Crews open new bridge on North Fork River

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

This article was published August 1, 2014 at 2:23 a.m.

NORFORK -- A new bridge over the North Fork River in northern Arkansas has opened.

The Baxter Bulletin reported that after about 18 months of construction, crews opened the new bridge Tuesday in Baxter County.

"They had gone to Mountain Home across the old bridge; he came back, and to his surprise, he crossed the new one," Norfork Mayor Jim Reeves said. He also got a call about it from a City Council member.

He said construction crews from Pace Construction Co. of St. Louis simply opened the bridge and moved on to dismantling the old one.

The old bridge was built in 1936 and was designated as structurally deficient by federal officials. Its design was similar to a bridge that collapsed in Minneapolis in 2007, killing 13.

The old bridge is on the National Register of Historic Places. Officials plan to place a historical marker for it.

"The old bridge was very functional; it was a nice, historic bridge -- but this is a better one," Reeves said.

Right now, the new bridge runs parallel to the old one. It's 40 feet wide with side lanes that allow pedestrians to walk a comfortable distance from traffic.

State Desk on 08/01/2014

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