County Road 300 North east of S.R 59 for approximately three miles will be closed while repairs are made to the Birch Creek Bridge, which is one of only three wood bridges in Clay County.
"We really don't know the extent of damage until we actually get involved with the repairs," Clay County Highway Supervisor Pete Foster said Thursday while examining the broken center support beam of the 17-year-old bridge. "It could take a week to repair, or as long as a month. We just don't know yet."
Although only recently discovered, officials believe the damage was caused by previous use of the road by semis and garbage trucks on the way to the Center Point landfill in the 90s.
"There were signs posted to alert truck drivers that the bridge could not withstand the heavy loads, but many vehicles went on ahead and used the road anyway," Clay County Commissioner Charlie Brown said. "Now we have to fix it."
The emergency repairs to the bridge should be relatively affordable because work will be done by county highway employees.
"Since it will be done in-house, the major cost should only be for the materials and time," Commissioner Jack Withers said.
Residents are asked to avoid the area while repairs are being completed.