by: Scott McCaulley
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has inspected a Low Water Crossing connecting two pieces of property in the Bull Creek area which has been the site of three drownings in the last year and a half.
Jay Townsend, Chief of Public Affairs for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Little Rock Office in an interview with Ozarks First, says that after Land Owner Steve Johnson got his permit to build the structure in 2016, problems were discovered with that structure.
“Later on, after inspection, we realized that he had created a much larger structure that was acting like a weir dam, and we asked him to take it out. When he took it out, he got back in compliance with the Nationwide permit conditions, and then he submitted a second plan” Townsend tells Ozarks First.
Townsend says the second plan was to build a slab bridge, but additional work was done that violated the nationwide permit conditions including dredging about 900 linear feet around the structure, which is beyond the scope of the permit.
The Corps inspected the property last week and is finalizing a list of violations to send to Johnson.
“And what he’ll have to do in turn is hire a team and come up with a plan and submit it to us as to how he is going to restore that stream bed as close as they can to its original conditions,” says Townsend.
Johnson and the contractor of the original Low Water Crossing are facing Lawsuits from family members of two of the three people that drowned at that location in May of 2019 and in June of this year. Townsend did not comment on the current law suits in the Ozarks First Interview but did say that this permit does not guarantee Safety Conditions.
The complete feature produced by KOLR-10’s Jacob Blount and Chris Six can be found on the Ozarks First Website..