A surplus seventy-nine foot long by 8 foot wide covered, steel pedestrian bridge was delivered in one piece and staged next to the Sulphur Creek Trail behind the armory on Friday. It was estimated to weigh about 20,000 pounds which required a large crane from Searcy to unload it.
The bridge was recently purchased to span Sulphur Creek where the completed trail ends about 3/4 mile east of the Bittle Road trailhead. Plans are in the works to have it sandblasted and painted before installation. Concrete abutments are currently being engineered and will be out for bid soon. Of course moving the bridge from the staging area to Sulphur Creek will be the next big milestone. Completion of this phase will potentially open the trail to South 11st Street. Plans are in the works to connect this short section from So 11th Street, along Scott Street, to the existing trail at South 7th Street next to Sulphur Creek Outfitters. Two short bridges will be required in order to cross Bridal Veil Creek and Sulphur Creek adjacent to the existing Scott Street bridges. That completed phase will open multi-use trail from 1/4 mile west of Bittle Road to So Broadway, just a couple of blocks south of Spring Park.
The bridge was transferred over to the concrete blocks by crane with only a couple of adjustments made during the transfer. The Sun Times showed the transfer on Facebook Live. To view, go to The Sun Times Facebook page. Several people came to watch this bridge event.
The non-profit volunteer group, The Greers Ferry Lake Trails Council has worked over eight years to reach this point. Frank Wimberley, president of GFLTC says "we have about two miles of trails completed and over 80% of the master plan has legal easements in place. Funding from grants and donations has been difficult and is largely the reason for the slow progress. We are currently in a fundraising campaign to build the trail and the main trailhead Pavilion which is already designed." He says the community is slowly starting to realize all the advantages of the trail and the walking, running and cycling community is growing significantly. According to Dr. Mickey Barnett, a charter board member of GFLTC, "this completed project will be a bigger asset, dollar for dollar, than Heber Springs has ever seen".