OZARK, Mo. – The Ozark Mill Bridge, located next to Finley Farms, will be closed for a period next week for a new traffic pattern to be implemented.
Ozark Special Road District officials say it’s to help preserve the bridge that is rapidly decaying until it can be fully rehabilitated.
Commissioner Michael Bloom said Monday through Thursday next week they will close the bridge to turn the road into a bi-directional one way.
Bloom said drivers would essentially just take turns and yield to oncoming traffic.
“There have been times that we would see six vehicles crossing the bridge at the same time, three each direction,” Bloom said. “This is not good, but by switching it to a bi-directional one-way, the most we could see in one direction would be three cars traveling in one direction.”
He said they will also be switching the weight limit on the road from 15 to five tons.
“The rate of decay is increasing at a rate that is not going to allow us to continue using the bridge at all,” Bloom said.
Bloom said Tuesday night the Special Road District discovered they were in charge of maintaining that section of road.
He said it sparked them to pass the new road measures.
While Bloom said the bridge is still safe for vehicles, some things can be done before the bridge is hopefully rehabilitated next year.
“In the meantime, this is a stop-gap to make sure that the bridge doesn’t fail to a point where it can’t be rehabilitated at all,” Bloom said.
Ozark School District officials said they are aware they will no longer be able to take their buses over the bridge. They said it won’t be impacting them too much.
As far as reaction from those with Finley Farms on the new bridge rules, they said they would rather not comment.