City Begins Design Phase on Two Historic Bridges

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Fayetteville city officials kick off the design phase to restore the Maple and Lafayette bridges.

“When this gets done it will look like exactly like the original plans like when it was brand new and I think it`s going to be something that the whole community can get excited about,” said Paula Marinoni, Historic preservation advocate.

The cost to restore the bridges is $1.4 million. The city will receive $1 million in federal funding through the Arkansas Highway Transportation Department.

The city has to pay $400,000 which will come from transportation bond project, in which voters approved in 2006.

The two bridges are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

“They are the only two things that the city of Fayetteville owns that is on the National register,” said Marinoni.

The bridges were built in the late 1930s.

The two bridges must stay to their original form that got them on the list or they will lose their historic distinction, according to city engineer, Chris Brown.

“If we were designing that bridge now we would not be able to build those type of railings, they are not tall enough, they are not strong enough, so there is kind of a give and take there between the historic character and meeting the crash worthiness and all the other requirements of current standards,” said Brown.

The design phase will take approximately nine months with construction set to begin next year.

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