The new Baptist Camp access bridge at Simmons. The camera is facing northwest. The project was undertaken by the Texas County Commission.

A new bridge over the Big Piney River at Baptist Camp access is open.

Texas County Commissioner John Casey said the structure opened at week’s end. Barricades are gone, and a ribbon-cutting ceremony is slated after a final inspection by the Missouri Department of Transportation.

Steve Brown of Springfield’s Great River Associates engineering firm said the project was made possible by the Off-System Bridge Replacement and Rehabilitation Program (also known as BRO), which uses federal funds distributed at the state level for the replacement and improvement of county-owned bridges. BRO basically provides in the neighborhood of 90-percent of the cost. The bridge is situated in Cass Township.

“Texas County’s commissioners have been instrumental in making this happen, and MoDOT people have really been working on it, too,” Brown said.

The previous bridge was closed in 2010 after it was deemed unsafe.

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