Beaver mayor wants to know how many want a new bridge

Monday, November 7, 2005

BEAVER -- The Beaver town council will hold its monthly meeting Monday at 7 p.m. at the Beaver Community Center.

Mayor Chad Hipps said he is going to read a letter he received recently from Dan Flowers of the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD) regarding constituents' opposition to the proposed Beaver Bridge replacement.

Hipps said this week he is going to ask for an informal "show of hands" of those who want a new bridge.

At last month's council meeting, several residents from Carroll County Road 266 showed up to protest a suggestion the county "swap" their road for Ark. Hwy. 187 to avoid building a new bridge at Beaver and making improvements on Hwy. 187 that will make it more friendly to 18-wheel truck traffic.

During the discussion, several residents murmured agreement with Beaver area resident Buz Peine, who believes a new bridge is needed because the current bridge is unsafe for the traffic crossing it daily.

"Now I'm more confused as to what I should do," Hipps said after that meeting. "I thought no one wanted a new bridge, and I've been trying to find a solution that would avoid having a new bridge built."

He said his primary concern is protecting the town of Beaver, but he also does not want to see anyone in the surrounding area lose their house or land.

"We need to work together on this -- everyone who's affected," he said.

The public is welcome and invited to attend Monday's meeting, and although Hipps realizes his "show of hands" is not official, he said it would give him a better idea of how to proceed in his lobbying of AHTD for a viable alternative to a new bridge.

The council will also consider possible appointees to fill two vacancies in its ranks.

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