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New Lincoln Street bridge and dam features canoe passage

A design drawing of how the bridge and dam will look from aboveA new $13 million Lincoln Street bridge and dam will feature a zig-zagging boat passage transition that many people who canoe and kayak have been wishing for.

That’s just a recreational side of it. The existing bridge is 40 years old and public works officials showed photos of rusty rebar and crumbling concrete to show the aging.

Several Arkansas River advocates waited hours for the city council to discuss the bridge and they pressed the council to build a new bridge and dam along with passages for boaters and fish.

The city could have repaired the existing bridge and dam for about $9 million, but a new bridge would last an estimated 20 years longer and cost less to maintain, officials said.

The bridge, dam and passages are expected to be open for use in 2012.