U.S. Army Corps of Engineers compiling violations of Bull Creek crossing

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BRANSON, Mo.- A landowner near Bull Creek is facing scrutiny from the U.S Army Corps of Engineers for trying to rebuild a crossing over the Bull Creek.

The Corps is now preparing a list of violations to send to the property owner.

The property owner and the contractor of the original low water bridge are currently being sued by survivors of two of the three people who drowned when their kayaks capsized at the crossing in 2019.

The issue with the low water bridge began back in 2016 when landowner, Steve Johnson, was first granted a nationwide permit by the Corps of Engineers to construct the crossing over Bull Creek to connect two of his properties.

“Later on, after inspection, we realized that he had created a much larger structure that was acting like a weird dam, and we asked him to take it out. When he took it out, he got back in compliance with the Nationwide permit conditions, and then he submitted a second plan,” says Jay Townsend, Chief Public Affairs at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Townsend says the second plan was to build a slab bridge, but additional work was done that violated the nationwide permit conditions.

“They roughly dredged about 900 linear feet right there, and the Nationwide Permit conditions really stipulate that you stay as close to the actual structure as possible,” says Townsend.

The Corps is finalizing the list of violations to send to Johnson after a regulator inspected the property on September 9th.

“And what he’ll have to do in turn is hire a team and come up with a plan and submit it to us as to how he is going to restore that stream bed as close as they can to its original conditions,” says Townsend.

If Johnson cannot get the stream bed back in good condition, he could face a citation and have to appear in federal magistrate court.

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