Last week's heavy rains that caused flooding in downtown Monett contributed to the collapse of a rural bridge in Barry County yesterday.
A fully loaded cattle truck nearly ended up in Capps Creek yesterday around 10 a.m. when the bridge over Farm Road 1040, southeast of the Monett Municipal Airport, broke under it. Scott Smith, who was driving the truck, managed to stop the vehicle on the bridge within just a few feet of the trailer's rear wheels dropping into the creek.
Upon examination of the bridge, it was found water had eroded the earthen foundation from under the concrete pier, leaving the structure hollow. According the Smith, his truck weighed 30,000 pounds and carried 50 cattle for a total weight load of around 80,000 pounds, the state limit.
After the cattle were unloaded, two wreckers from Ed Jones Wrecker Service in Monett backed against both ends of the cattle trailer, spring loaded the vehicle and backed it off the bridge.
|Farm Road 1040 has subsequently been closed near the bridge. Smith said subsequent trips from the dairy farm where he started his trip will have to go south to Farm Road 2040 and then west to Highway 97.||The damaged bridge is located in the Capps Creek Road District.|
The next bridge one mile east at Farm Road 1052 on Hudson Creek has similar construction as a concrete box with whistles. Pete Rauch, commissioner with the Monett Special Road District, which has jurisdiction over the bridge, said there is debris piled against the bridge, which will be closed until early 2010.
Bridges of similar construction have caused debris back-ups in several locations. Residents around Jolly Mill on Shoal Creek had lengthy talks with the Barry County Commission after a debris build-up contributed to flooding there. A similar bridge on Farm Road 2200 west of Monett was viewed as a major contributor to record flooding in Monett on Sept. 19 after debris amassed there.
Rauch said road district commissioners would like to widen the channel of Hudson Creek at Farm Road 1052 and install a free-span steel bridge that would allow debris to pass. Commissioners planned to take up their concerns with the Barry County Commission to see if a joint project could be undertaken. Rauch would like to see a similar solution developed for the bridge across Clear Creek at Farm Road 2200.
The Barry County Commission has also announced the bridge in the Haley Hollow area, in the vicinity of Farm Roads 2180 and 1200, in the Mineral Road District, will be closed until the end of November.