The Cow Face Bridge covers Hickory Creek in Benton County, AR. The bridge was placed in its current spot in 1970 but had a low weight limit that didn't accommodate emergency vehicles or buses. For that reason, plus the ongoing maintenance costs of such an old structure, the county hired Crossland Heavy to demolish the existing bridge and install a prefabricated steel bridge with greater traffic capacity.
The project was part of the county's five-year bridge plan, which began in 2017 and included extensive replacements or renovations. In addition to installing the bridge, the Cow Face project included driven pike foundations, concrete abutments, and associated roadway construction.
The 48' prefab bridge was bolted together on site and is encapsulated by 1,848 feet of MSE retaining walls. The total roadway length was 440' with an asphalt surface. The new bridge makes it more convenient for county residents to get to their locations and dramatically improves safety issues for the rural fire department, EMS services, and sheriff's patrol. The water in Hickory Creek now flows better during storms. Without intermediate supports, the single arch span of the new bridge reduces debris buildup.
Our crews planned the earthwork portion of the project around forecasted weather and worked diligently during dry stretches, enabling our team to come in under budget.
For curious readers, per the Benton County Historical Society, "Cow Face" is an alternate name for its real name of "Broomfield Hill." As the story goes, a farmer was killed on the bridge when his animal team ran away with him. Afterward, a nightly bridge traveler reported something white moving at the same place where the farmer had died. Authorities investigated and found an old, white-faced cow at the location. Hence, "Cow Face" was given to the hill, road, and bridge.