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Howell County bridge project finally begins construction


After enduring years of anticipatory delays, Howell County's officials and residents are poised to witness the transformation of a critical pathway in their community, as the commission embarks on a long-awaited bridge replacement project on Allen Street/County Road 2570.

The initiative, which begins its preliminary stages on Monday, seeks to dismantle the existing single-lane bridge, supplanting it with a modern, 28-foot wide alternative designed to enhance accessibility and safety for the county’s motorists. However, with a projected timeframe of 90 days, citizens and daily commuters local to that area are being asked to navigate around a web of alternative routes, as the familiar Allen Street pathway will be temporarily closed.

Despite the inevitable inconveniences set to ripple through the daily lives of locals, the Howell County Commissioners remain steadfast in their belief that the fruits of patience and collective endurance will unfurl a vastly improved transportation infrastructure.

"Howell County is not only getting a bridge. It’s forging a connection between its present and future, overcoming the hurdles that have prolonged this endeavor,” expressed Southern Commissioner, Billy Sexton, who believes that the outcome will be “well worth the trouble.”

The journey toward this moment has been anything but smooth sailing. Since the project’s inception several years ago, a cascade of challenges — from budget constraints to logistical nightmares — has perpetually nudged the construction commencement date into the distant horizon. Yet, the resilient spirit of the Howell County Commission, coupled with an unwavering commitment to enhancing community mobility, kept the vision alive.

The Howell County Commission extends its gratitude toward the community for its understanding and cooperation during this pivotal period of transformation. It is an endeavor that stitches together the threads of modernization, safety, and communal spirit — forging a bridge that signifies not just a physical crossing, but a transition into a future of enhanced connectivity and progress.

As bulldozers roll in and the first fragments of the old bridge crumble away, Howell County stands on the brink of a new chapter, one that, in Commissioner Sexton’s eyes, will culminate in a narrative of triumph over adversity, and collective ambition realized.

The Howell County Commission will convene on Monday at 10 a.m. in the conference room on the second floor of the county office building, located at 35 Court Square, West Plains. The agenda includes the review and approval of commission records from Sept. 7 through 28, approval of accounts payable and a grant conference with County Emergency Management Director Mike Coldiron regarding a Fiscal Year 2023 Emergency Management Performance Grant. Additional payable accounts and guest recognitions will also be addressed. The meeting is open to the public and all interested parties are invited to attend.