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Washington County Closes Woolsey Bridge South Of West Fork

By Staff Report

This article was published January 14, 2015 at 3:08 a.m.

FAYETTEVILLE -- Washington County closed an 89-year-old bridge south of West Fork on Tuesday, saying its structure has become too weak to hold traffic.

Woolsey Bridge, a truss-style bridge over the West Fork of the White River about 3 miles south of West Fork, will likely remain closed until its reconstruction sometime in the next year or two, Shawn Shrum, assistant road superintendent, said.

It's the second county bridge closed this week and the second time Woolsey Bridge has been closed. Orr Bridge was closed Monday because of similar concerns. Woolsey was last closed in 2007 but opened a few months later with a three-ton weight limit.

Woolsey is among several bridges slated for replacement in the county. Unlike most other bridges, the work is being done with help from the State Highway and Transportation Department. Survey work recently finished, Shrum said. Next comes designing the new bridge.

The 200-foot span connects Woolsey Road to U.S. 71. Motorists will need to detour along McKnight Avenue up into West Fork.

NW News on 01/14/2015

Print Headline: County Closes Second Bridge

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RBBrittain says... January 14, 2015 at 6:03 a.m.

So is it getting a "reconstruction" or a "replacement"? Woolsey is a historic bridge; it's right next to U.S. 71 and is plainly visible from there, and I believe it's visible from I-49 also. Ordinarily it shoulda been replaced long ago (not just structurally but also for the sharp curve & steep hill between it & 71), but it should be seriously considered for preservation even if replaced (as it probably should be).

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