Visitors to Beaverfork Park will have a restored iron bowstring truss bridge to enjoy sooner than later, now that the City of Conway has worked out funding problems and the long-anticipated Springfield-Des Arc Bridge restoration project has begun.
Conway made plans to purchase the 142-year-old bridge from Faulkner County back in 2015, then move and restore the bridge over water at Beaverfork Park for pedestrian use.
After a false start with a $300,000 Metroplan grant, the City Council in October approved $350,000 from Conway’s Advertising & Promotion budget to pay for the project. This allowed the contractor — Workin’ Bridges of Grinnell, Iowa — to begin disassembling and moving the bridge:
–video by Charles Hale
“Mayor Tab Townsell was the driving force, with the help of the [Conway] city council to get this bridge moved into Conway,” Faulkner County Judge Baker said upon passing the bill of sale for the bridge to Conway’s Mayor.
Townsell added, “We’re restoring function and adding value… We don’t get in our jobs to fix potholes and stop barking dogs, but getting this bridge is what we get in our jobs for. We hope this excites people and communities to restore their bridges and valuables when they see ours.”