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Watersheds New Bertha Bridge

Photo Story: New Bertha Bridge  

The old wooden bridge over the Bryant near Bertha was one of the oldest in Missouri. 
Bertha Bridge carries County Road 345 across the Bryant. CR 345 connects Highway 95 just south of Gentryville with N Highway just north of Rockbridge. Click on the map to see a bigger map of the watershed. watershed map
Now they've replaced the last wooden bridge in our watershed. 
This is how the work looked in early February 2001.
By April, it's almost done.
This topo map shows where the bridge is. The crossing is just upstream of a contour line. The line shows a change in altitude. Click on the picture to see a bigger topo map. topo map
These are concrete piers (supports). The new bridge is a lot wider and stronger than the old one. 
The Old Bridge
The old bridge carried only one lane of traffic. 
Its wooden frame and surface rested on concrete. The new bridge's framework is steel.
These pictures show how they put in the concrete piers for the new bridge.
They dug a hole in the river bottom. Dirt and rock made a dam around the hole to keep the river out. When water leaked in, a pump pumped it back into the river.
Workers drilled down to the bedrock. The concrete piers must rest on solid rock to hold against the heavy weight of floodwater.
It takes heavy equipment to build this bridge. John Burk Construction, Inc., of Springfield, is the contractor. This is the same company that built the Highway 160 bridge over the North Fork at Tecumseh.
By June, it's finished. Here's the new bridge over the Bryant. 


Text and photos by Peter Callaway.

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