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Newly installed bridge vandalized

By Kristen Tribe | Published Saturday, November 24, 2012

The newly-constructed bridge on County Road 3214, just outside Bridgeport, was vandalized last week.

The cement had been recently poured and was curing when someone drove a track hoe around the site and into the sides of the bridge, damaging it.

Interim Precinct 4 Commissioner Glenn Hughes said inspection revealed there is no structural damage to the bridge, just cosmetic.

“We’ll have to replace the guardrails and things like that,” he said.

The track hoe had been temporarily left at the site by the construction company and was being used as a roadblock until the road was re-opened.

Hughes said the bridge should be open in the next few weeks, and in the meantime, Sheriff David Walker said there will be increased patrols in the area.

This stretch of road had been blocked to through traffic since 1999, and it became the subject of controversy after Commissioner Terry Ross, who has since been temporarily suspended for unrelated reasons, began work on the closed portion of road in June.

Sonny Tackel of Bridgeport filed a petition asking county commissioners to keep the half-mile section of road closed. He and his neighbors told commissioners that when the road was open, it was a common site for parties that involved drinking and drug use.

Bridgeport resident David Carlton filed a cross-petition asking commissioners to deny the first petition.

Citizens on both sides of the issue attended the commissioners’ July 30 meeting where after an hour-long discussion, the county officials decided to re-open the road, denying Tackel’s petition.

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