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Cooks Bayou Bridge reopens to traffic

The Cooks Bayou Bridge reopened Monday. (WJHG/WECP)
The Cooks Bayou Bridge reopened Monday. (WJHG/WECP)(WJHG)
Published: Dec. 24, 2019 at 11:09 AM CST
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After being delayed several months, the Cooks Bayou Bridge is now open.

Bay County officials say in May 2018, an emergency bridge replacement project started at Cooks Bayou Bridge. Part of County Road 2297 was closed so crews could work. It was slated to be finished in October 2019 but reopened Monday.

County officials say the project was paid for by the county's half-cent surtax and cost $9 million.

"The contractor still has some work to finish on the project, including adding lighting, but we recognize the desire of the community to resume using the bridge as quickly as possible,” Bay County Public Works Director Keith Bryant said.

The bridge is on County Road 2297, which serves the Allanton community and Eastern Shipbuilding.

County officials say during construction, significant safety concerns arose regarding the stability of the causeway surrounding the bridge, prompting the emergency closure. Hurricane Michael also delayed the project.

Bay County officials say to make things easier on drivers in the area, they spent about $600,000 to pave 4.7 miles on Old Allenton Road. That project was also on the county's surtax list.

“We appreciate everyone’s patience, as the safety of the traveling public remains our primary concern,” Bryant said, “and we ask everyone to continue exercising caution on the roadway until the lighting, which is an additional improvement to the bridge, is replaced.”

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