Just drove across this today. They're replacing some of the deck and traffic was one-lane with a stoplight regulating traffic. There were two semi-trailers in my lane stopped, and each semi that came in the other direction made the bridge shake enough I was a little concerned about all the weight on the bridge at that point. Reminded me a little of the way the swinging bridges at Lake of the Ozarks are when cars cross them.
ADHT has just imposed weight limits on this bridge,33T.It's about time,too.I'm sure it has good memories for some,but,it's a nightmare to cross over it for myself.It is sky-high above the river,and,the roadbed looks as if it could fall into the drink.
THIS MIGHTY BRIDGE IS VISIBLY A CONNECTION OF TWO WORLDS ONE BEING THE RIVER BOTTOMS WITH THEIR RICH SOIL AND LEVEL LAND THE OTHER BEING THE START OF THE OZARKS FOOTHILLS. AS A KID I TOO HELD MY BREATH WHEN CROSSING AND WONDERED WHY THEY MAKE SUCH A HIGH AND LONG BRIDGE SO ROUGH TO RIDE ON! I LIVED ON BOTH SIDES OF THE BRIDGE AND CROSSED IT MANY TIMES IT PLAYED A BIG ROLE IN MY LIFE AND NEVER NOTICED UNTIL RECENTLY. IVE WENT FISHING UNDERNEATH WITH MY GRANDPA PLENTY OF TIMES AND AROUND THE ISLAND THERE IS PLENTY OF HOLES AND GULLIES FOR CATFISH THERE. THAT BRIDGE IS THE LINK TO MEMORIES FOR MANY PEOPLE
This bridge holds fun memories for me. I have crossed it many, many times from the 1960's till this very year, 2007.
My dear Dad, now passed on, made it a fun game for all of us kids. We'd hold our breath just as we got on the bridge and see who could make it till we crossed the other end. He always won of course...he grew up swimming in the Black river. I've crossed it in the worst fog I've ever seen from Portia until you got to Black Rock. I've seen the flood waters of the Black River all the way to the edge of Portia. This is a mighty bridge and as years have gone by I've always wondered about it's strength...now more than ever. I've lived away from Lawrence County for many years now but still go back at least every year or so to see realtives in Smithville and Walnut Ridge and each time I go over the Black River Bridge I hold my breath and so do my own children....I even make it to the end..Dad would be proud !!
I have many, many fond memories of crossing this bridge as a young child and into adulthood. I remember crossing many times when there was flooding below and wondering, wood the water ever rise to the bottom of the bridge, I don't believe it ever has. Many young men used this bridge in the 70's to as they called it to "blow the soot" out of their souped up cars. It was also used (not offically of course) on many a summer night as a 1/4 mile dragstrip in the 60's and 70's. Those "WERE" to good old days. As I now live out of state I have not crossed this bridge since the 90's. I would love to cross it again in the future and show this wonderess bridge to my boys.