County project could save Barry Countians money

Thursday, June 26, 2008

On May 29, the Barry County Commission completed a United States Army Corps of Engineers application to begin a project that could save county residents a large amount of money in the future.

In January of 2007, funds became available through the Missouri Department of Conservation to clean flood debris from area streams and waterways, said Eddie Davidson, Barry County southern commissioner.

"Most of the farmers and property owners had already taken care of removing debris from waterways," said Davidson, who suggested the Conservation Department consider repairing the land beneath the Jenkins Bridge on Highway 39, which has been continuously eroded by flood waters.

"Flat Creek continues to further erode some of the property's best bottom land," said Davidson. "The way it is eroding it is making a loop in the field and has the potential to wash away the abutments of the Highway 39 Bridge.

"Something should be done to stop the eroding," said Davidson. "Someday we will need to spend millions of dollars to build a new bridge when we could be taking steps to avoid that now."

The Missouri Department of Conservation has partnered with the Missouri Department of Transportation (MODOT) to fund the project and correct the erosion issues under the bridge on Highway 39.

"Since this is a combined effort of MODOT and the Conservation Department," said Davidson, "and two organizations are working on the project, the county commission will be responsible for bidding the project and overseeing the work."

The project includes plans to create a new bank, place large stones along the bank and secure the stones will rip rap. The work should help Flat Creek run straighter beneath the Highway 39 Bridge, said Davidson.

Prior to requesting bids, the Barry County Commission completed a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit application and requested a land survey and site plan for the project.

"With the flooding and high water we have had this year, it is taking a little longer to get started then we had hoped," said Davidson. "The survey has been completed and the site plan is in progress. We are ready to go as soon as they are."

Although Davidson would like to see work begin during late summer, the official project start date will be determined by the crews that are hired to complete the stream reconstruction work.

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