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Construction Begins! Moving forward to improve fish passage for Niangua darters in Dallas County, Missouri.
Midwest Region, August 2, 2010
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Construction crews at the Williams Ford crossing in Dallas County, Missouri prepare to lift the pile driver hammer with a crane. (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service photo by Mark Corio)
Construction crews at the Williams Ford crossing in Dallas County, Missouri prepare to lift the pile driver hammer with a crane. (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service photo by Mark Corio) - Photo Credit: n/a
Temporary construction crossing at the Williams Ford crossing site in Dallas County, Missouri. Photo demonstrates the difference between flood capacity of the old structure evident by the box culvert opening and the new structure. The two new bridge openings are framed by the steel beams. (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service photo by Mark Corio)
Temporary construction crossing at the Williams Ford crossing site in Dallas County, Missouri. Photo demonstrates the difference between flood capacity of the old structure evident by the box culvert opening and the new structure. The two new bridge openings are framed by the steel beams. (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service photo by Mark Corio) - Photo Credit: n/a

The Benton Branch Road in Dallas County has been closed to local traffic, forcing folks to "take the long way around", but they don't mind. They know its just temporary. In fact, they can already see the framework for their new bridge.

The crossing, known locally as Williams Ford, is being replaced with a free span bridge to allow the threatened Niangua darter and other aquatic species to move up and downstream. The low water crossing which had existed at this ford for years was a barrier to fish travel.

Road crews for Dallas County began work on the road approaches mid-summer in anticipation of the new bridge. The existing low water crossing was removed in August, and work on the new structure began.  When visiting the site in late August, it was apparent what a difference the new structure will make. See picture - A temporary construction crossing occupies the channel where the old structure had been removed. This allows the construction crews to move equipment into place for driving pylons for the bridge abutments. Midway in this temporary crossing is a box culvert allowing stream flow. The two new openings to allow water and sediment flow are framed by the large steel beams reaching for the sky. The temporary box structure represents the entirety of flow that was provided by the old structure. While we routinely take pre- and post-project photos of these bridge replacements to examine the changes in design and stream function, this picture more dramatically captures the difference in flow openings.

The contractor anticipates being able to place the new pre-cast road deck on the bridge abutments and re-open the road in October. It'll be a benefit to both the fish and the local people. Funds for this project were provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Missouri Conservation Heritage Foundation and Dallas County, Missouri. Project coordination and Niangua darter monitoring is provided by the Missouri Department of Conservation

 


Contact Info: Joanne Grady, 573-234-2132 x101, joanne_grady@fws.gov



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