DIAMOND — A new replacement bridge near the George Washington Carver National Monument is now open and open ahead of schedule.

DIAMOND — A new replacement bridge near the George Washington Carver National Monument is now open and open ahead of schedule.
"The old bridge was built in 1935. It had been identified by MoDOT as a bridge that needs replaced due to age and deterioration.," Newton County Commissioner Alan Cook said. "Between having a great bridge crew and good weather in November and December, what should have been a four-month winter time project only took two and a half months."
Construction on the bridge - which is located on Carver Road, just outside of Diamond - began on Oct. 15, at a cost of $65,000.
"That including material, equipment, and labor," he said. "Having a bridge crew in Newton County is a huge financial benefit. Our bridge crew can build a bridge for about 30 percent of what contracted costs would be."
Cook is pleased with the completion of the bridge.
"It is always great to complete projects early," he said. "Carver Road is the main entrance to the George Washington Carver National Park, west of Diamond. Since Carver Road is such a heavily traveled road, it was definitely a plus for park visitors, as well as local commuter, to see the bridge open early."
Newton County maintains around 175 bridges across the county.
"We have averaged three or four bridge replacement projects per year since 1996," he added.