Arkansas State Parks to Close the Ed Banks Low Water Bridge at Cossatot River State Park-Natural Area to Vehicles

(WICKES, Ark.)—The Ed Banks Low Water Bridge that crosses the Cossatot River from the east side on Weyerhaeuser Road #52000 (Ed Banks Road), and from the west on Weyerhaeuser Road #82000, in Cossatot River State Park-Natural Area will be closed to all vehicles beginning November 1, according to State Parks Director Greg Butts. Butts said, “This action is necessary to ensure public safety because the current structure is a safety hazard to vehicle traffic due to damage from flood events over time. The bridge was constructed by the Dierks Land and Coal Company and maintained by Weyerhaeuser Company as part of their timber operations, and Weyerhaeuser Company has determined the river crossing is not necessary due to alternate trucking routes.” He emphasized, “The bridge will remain open to foot traffic as the river crossing for the park’s River Corridor Trail.” Butts noted that the bridge’s closing will not impact the Ed Bank Access along Weyerhaeuser Road #52000 which serves as a put-in point for floaters, or affect the park’s facilities located on the east side of this access.

Signage will be placed at Weyerhaeuser Roads #52000 on the east side of the river, and #82000 on the west side, advising drivers that the low water bridge is closed to vehicles.

Near the Ed Banks Area, the west side of the park will be accessible from Ark. 246 via Polk County Road 33 and Weyerhaeuser Roads #82330 and #82000.

Cossatot River State Park-Natural Area is one of the 52 state parks administered by the State Parks Division of the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism. This park-natural area extends for 12 miles along the wild and scenic Cossatot River. The river forms Cossatot Falls, a rugged, rocky canyon that challenges experienced canoeists and kayakers with its Class IV rapids. In this watershed basin, flow levels are dependent upon rainfall. The park is south of Mena. The northern route is Ark. 246 between Vandervoort and Athens. The southern route is U.S. 278 between Wickes and Umpire. Weyerhaeuser roads provide river access. The park visitor center is on U.S. 278 eight miles east of Wickes near where the highway crosses the Cossatot River.

For details, contact:  Stan Speight, park superintendent, Cossatot River State Park-Natural Area, 1980 Highway 278 West, Wickes, AR 71973; phone: 870-385-2201; e-mail:  stan.speight@arkansas.gov.

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