Another piece of lake history is looking at an uncertain future as aging takes its toll. The Swinging Bridge in Brumley was recently rated as “poor” in a integrity study by MoDOT. Though the bridge is still in useable condition, Miller County Presiding Commissioner Tom Wright isn’t certain that the county will be able to fund the necessary repair study needed to continue operation.

Another piece of lake history is looking at an uncertain future as aging takes its toll. The Swinging Bridge in Brumley was recently rated as “poor” in a integrity study by MoDOT. Though the bridge is still in useable condition, Miller County Presiding Commissioner Tom Wright isn’t certain that the county will be able to fund the necessary repair study needed to continue operation.

Since the study, the bridge as been lowered to a 3 ton weight rating. The bridge is inspected on a normal two-year cycle like all bridges, and MoDOT found the cabling and overall condition of the bridge to be poor. Wright says that, in order to keep the bridge open, the county will need to fund a state selected and verified engineering firm to inspect the bridge and provide a cost estimate for repair and further maintenance.

As of June 3, this cost is out of the county’s reach. Wright says it is a priority of the county to maintain the bridge not only for local traffic in that area, but also to keep a piece of lake history and Miller County history accessible for patrons to visit. Being close to the state park, he says this hub of visitor landmarks should be something the county puts in high regard.

The loose deadline for this inspection would be January 2021, and Wright hopes to have the funds put together long before the end of 2020.

He says the county has been doing their best to provide the information to local media in order to attract interest from locals to help with donations and further spreading of the condition. Wright says that urgency will be a priority in getting this matter attended to.

“We want to get a conversation started quickly, these things can move at a snail's pace,” Wright said.

If the inspection is failed to be acquired by MoDOT’s timeline, the bridge will be closed to traffic. This will also happen if any cables or structural pieces begin to break apart. This could happen due to harsh weather or improper weight crossing the bridge. Wright cautions local patrons of the bridge to be careful when driving over it and to follow the weight limit strictly.

Wright says the commission has no current plans for fundraising efforts or events to raise funds, but they do intend to reach out to the historical society and DNR to start. Once groundwork is in place, the bulk of fundraising can begin.