Franklin County officials were originally hoping the Bend Road bridge could reopen around March 1.

But now it appears it could be next Thursday before it is fixed, County Highway Administrator Joe Feldmann said Tuesday.

There has been a slight delay in fixing the bridge because there was an issue with the fabrication of the replacement part, Feldmann said.

The county commission awarded the contract to repair the bridge at the beginning of February to R.V. Wagner Inc. of St. Louis for $17,317. In addition to the construction costs, there was $3,000 in engineering fees to be paid to Horner & Shifrin of St. Louis.

The county commission approved an agreement to split the cost of the repairs with the city of Pacific.

County commissioners voted to close the bridge in November because they said there were safety and liability concerns with the structure, which is about 100 years old.

Residents who used the bridge, which is in eastern Franklin County near Pacific, complained that the closure created an inconvenience by causing them to take an alternate route. There were also complaints about extra fuel cost caused by the detour.

Officials have said they will set a 12-ton load rating on the bridge, which could accommodate passenger cars and trucks, ambulances and possibly some smaller school buses.

Bridge Replacement

Meanwhile, county officials are still trying to secure federal funding to replace the bridge.

Feldmann said the county will apply to the East-West Gateway Council of Government in St. Louis this month for about $3.5 million in federal funds for the bridge replacement.

The county would contribute about $900,000 to the construction costs.

If the funding is approved, the project may start in the spring of 2015 and be completed sometime in 2016.

The county was approved last year for $160,000 in federal dollars for right-of-way acquisition. The county will contribute about $40,000 for right of way.

The county is paying for design and engineering in house for about $385,000 and construction administration and inspection for $165,000. Design for the project has already started.

The county commission also approved a supplemental agreement of $28,250 for environmental services, including an endangered species mussel survey, archaeological and historical artifact review and natural resources impact report.