Crawford County Bridge May Find a New Home

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Mike Alsup, with the Fort Smith Parks Department said plans are well underway for a historic Crawford County bridge across Lee Creek on Highway 59  to come to Fort Smith.

“We sent a letter back to the state letting them know that we did have an interest in it. The interest doesn’t obligate us at this point to take the bridge, it just lets the state know that we have an interest in the bridge,” said Alsup.

Alsup doesn’t know yet how much it will cost to move the bridge but whatever the cost is they hope to make it up through grants, since the parks budget was recently cut.

Money for the move will also come from the Downtown Development Office and Central Business and Improvement District.

“They may just question spending the money on something like that. It would just be the cost of having it put here, that’s probably what would be questioned the most,” said Alsup.

The bridge in Crawford County could be picked up and moved to different spots in Fort Smith.

“One is along one of our trails that are on the master plan for trails and greenways plan. The other site is down near River Park and it would be just a unique feature,” said Alsup.

Some Crawford County fishers who catch up to fifty pounds of fish off the bridge said they don’t support the idea.

“It be a loss to the community, because everybody comes out here to catch their bait off the bridge,” said Josh Spanel.

Alsup said it will be quite the process transporting the bridge.

“One piece at a time one bolt at a time. You would just unbolt it, number everything and reassemble it back in the same order that you took it apart,” said Alsup.

“That’s going to mess up a lot of the fishing while their working here. With all the cranes and heavy equipment that will make it where it’s pretty much useless to fish here while they’re doing that,” said Spanel.

The state highway plans to replace the bridge in 2016.

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