Beaver Bridge in Carroll County, Ark. closed to through traffic for repairs

Published: Oct. 11, 2021 at 5:46 PM CDT
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BEAVER, Ark. (KY3) - The next phase of construction of the Arkansas 187 Beaver Bridge will require closing it for the next several weeks, according to Arkansas Department of Transportation officials.

Beginning Monday crews began reconstruction of the Beaver Bridge over the White River. The work requires continuous closing of the bridge, including weekends.

The Beaver Bridge means a lot to Arkansans near Beaver and Holiday Island. The convenience of driving over the bridge saves locals commute time.

”It eliminates so many miles to commute from this area of northwest Arkansas to the corridor,” said Smith Truer, a local resident. “Many people work over there and it can cut off 20-30 minutes both ways.”

It carries much more significance. The bridge was designated by the state as a historical landmark in 1990, most notably for its appearance and the fact it is the only suspension bridge in Arkansas open to traffic.

“One of the attractions of the engineering of this bridge is it’s a suspension bridge and the engineering and style are similar to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco,” Truer explained.

”It’s known as the Little Golden Gate Bridge, it’s historical,” said Steve Lawrence, Arkansas Department of Transportation engineer. “At one point there was a plan to take the bridge out and replace it. But that was met with so much objection, we decided to do this renovation project instead.”

Now the Little Golden Gate Bride is being revitalized. The structure is being repainted a bright golden yellow, power-washed, and resurfaced, but not with asphalt.

”The riding surface on that bridge is actually treated bridge timbers, so we’re actually going through and replacing the old timbers with new ones,” said Lawrence.

Be that it’s wood, traffic isn’t the biggest wear on the bridge, but instead flooding.

“This bridge has survived quite a few floods, it does have to be re-inspected each time before the public is allowed to start driving on it again,” said Truer.

The bridge project has even been interrupted by the lake coming up so high that workers couldn’t get underneath the bridge to work on it. The latest improvements to the bridge will help reinforce its integrity. The project’s managers suspect the bridge will be accessible to the public again no later than November 1, if not sooner.

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