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GUMS CROSSING – It has been a long time coming, but the hum of the diesel 18-wheelers delivering the first trackhoe and bulldozer to the Gums Crossing bridge work site was music to the ears of District 5 Supervisor Gaylon Gray.
The loads arrived Friday, marking the first visible progress on rebuilding the longest bridge in the county, a bridge that has been closed for over two years following damage during historic flooding in early 2019. The $16.24 million replacement bridge will be just over a half-mile long, spanning Skuna River in the backwaters of Grenada Lake. Gray is among residents who live across the river and have been cut off from the rest of the county.
The supervisor reported the contractors will start clearing the right-of-way along the county-owned railroad bed adjacent to the bridge to serve as a staging area and access to the bridge. He also said a temporary work bridge will be shipped to the site.
“The work bridge will be shipped on 14 flatbed trucks, coming out of North Carolina and Florida,” Gray explained. The temporary work bridge will be constructed adjacent to the new bridge to provide workers and equipment an area to work above the water.
“It is going to be a slow process, but it is good to see the work get going,” Gray told the Herald.