Engineer recommends closing Colbert County bridge

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COLBERT COUNTY, Ala. – Spring storms heavily damaged a rural Colbert County bridge forcing its closure.  After evaluating their options, county leaders recommend shutting it down for good.

In March, Sky19 helped shed some light on the major problem at King Bridge in eastern Colbert County. Flood waters eroded the embankment under the bridge pressuring the road department to close it. Four months later, County Engineer John Bedford is making the recommendation to the county commission not to fix it.

“We have talked about,” stated Bedford. “If I go in there and spend $87,000 on repairing the abutment I really haven’t improved the load rating on the bridge, the efficiency of the bridge.”

Bedford said unless they completely replace the structure it would remain a 3-ton bridge. Which means only cars and smaller trucks could cross it. As the bridge sits now, Bedford says the risks far outweigh the rewards of keeping it open.

“It’s very dangerous. I anticipate that abutment to completely roll-in anytime,” Bedford explained. “If there was someone on that part of the span I believe they would be in the creek when it all collapsed.”

Once the county commission approves his recommendation, more permanent barricades will be put in place and the bridge decking will be taken off.

Bedford said would ultimately like to see the bridge removed, taking away the danger for anyone who decides to go around the barricades.

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