Editor’s Note: When the opportunity arose to share this historical piece, full of emotion and family ties–I jumped at it. It is an exciting project, and we invite you, our readers, to be a part!
Installment 2/3 – In part two of this three-part series we discuss the current progress of the Cuthbert Bridge Project. In part one, we discovered the history behind the project. In the final installment, the future, and how you can be a part of Greenwood’s history in the making!
As with any project this size, construction plans have been divided into phases. Daniel McDaniel, the city councilman spearheading the project, has formulated a plan.
“I’ve put together a phased plan that would complete all work at the lake site with the bridge abutments, concrete work and piles driven so that we’re ready for the bridge to be set in place. We have enough money in hand to get that completed in phase I. For phase II, we will have to wait, pray, hope, and beg for additional funding through charitable donations, grant awards or perhaps some form of reallocation from the city, parks, A&P or ARPA funds. As it stands at this time, we would not expect to hear back on a grant award until probably summer of 2023.”
To date, Tom Cuthbert (read more about the history of the Cuthbert family) has made a generous donation to get the project started.
“When the idea of the bridge came up I contacted Randy Coleman with Mickle Wagner Coleman engineering,” added McDaniel. “Randy was the chief engineer for the city water projects back in the day and greatly admired Dr. Cuthbert. He offered his time and expertise at no cost and has kept…his firm’s cost for inspectors, drafting and other necessary work to a minimum to help us out.”
With the initial funds in place, and some amazing project engineers willing to donate their time and expertise, it will give Jacob Burton the green light to begin the earthwork. Burton, a Greenwood native, is the developer for the Curve project and has donated all of the fill material needed. He is also providing the hauling, dozier work, and excavating at a fraction of the cost. “Heavy equipment is expensive to operate and he has been very generous with his time and keeping the cost as low as possible,” McDaniel continued.
The initial phase will also include acquiring steel pilings, installation, trucking, and bids for concrete work.
McDaniel has recommended that gravel and a new parking area be constructed before winter. “Doing the work before winter would make the area useable for the trail and other visitors to the lake.”
Phase I will conclude with concrete and wing walls.
The transition to the fabrication phase will begin and will include all material, labor, and equipment necessary to complete the bridge. This stage requires a great deal of logistical planning. From transporting the bridge to the fabrication yard, the labor, materials, and assembly, all before the bridge is completed and is ready to be moved to the lake location, is an enormous undertaking.
Once in place, the flooring will be installed. McDaniel commented that he is aware of unanticipated problems with a project of this size, but is budgeting for those costs.
In phase II, McDaniel stated they will be seeking the assistance of the Sebastian County Road Department for the parking lot, and culverts.
Lastly, signage and safety railings will be installed. “Two signs will be installed,” concluded McDaniel. “One with the bridge’s history, the other one will be a Cuthbert tribute.”
In the third and final installment of the Cuthbert Bridge Project, learn how you, your business, or your organization can get involved in this truly historical campaign.