Newton County landmark soon to be replaced

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NEWTON COUNTY, Ark. (KOLR) — A longtime landmark in Newton County known as the Pruitt Bridge is being replaced.

The project is being handled by the Arkansas Department of Transportation along with the National Park Service.

The construction of the bridge began Wednesday.

The bridge is located on Highway 7, about 11 miles south of Harrison and 6 miles north of Jasper. The replacement project will affect the east side of the existing bridge.

Part of the project is making sure that the natural resources here in the natural state are not affected.

Lauren Ray is a park ranger for the buffalo national river, “We’ve consulted with ArDot, we’ve consulted with the contractor and other area stakeholders.. to make sure that we reduce the amount of impacts on natural and cultural resources during this project.”

Construction will affect an area that encompasses a popular swimming hole

“While that swimming hole is not actually closed, the access to it is going to be a little bit more limited than usual,” Ray said, ” the north and the south banks of the river will be closed during this time.”

The Pruitt Bridge project is expected to be completed in December of 2020.

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