Benton County maintains and manages 101 concrete, steel, and timber bridges. The total includes 2 historic covered bridges and 3 culverts with span lengths greater than 20 feet. Based on State and Federal guidelines, bridges are maintained to meet operation criteria and provide adequate structural capacity for truck loads. The State monitors the condition of all bridges with biennial inspections. The County currently has one closed bridge and has scheduled several more for replacement to avoid additional closures and weight limits. Benton County Engineers and Road Crews supplement the replacement projects by performing maintenance and repair work as necessary.
Bridge projects are scheduled in coordination with the chip seal program to maximize efficiencies with locations and schedules.
Beginning in 2006, Public Works began replacing one bridge each year. The bridges selected for replacement are located on truck routes. In most cases life cycle cost analyses favor replacement over repair, given Benton County’s aging inventory of timber bridges. This helps minimize the number of bridges with posted weight limits, thereby securing freight connectivity, promoting economic activity and insuring public safety.