BUFFALO, Mo. – Area users and wildlife will benefit from a new bridge that will be installed at the Missouri Department of Conservation’s (MDC) Lead Mine Conservation Area in Dallas County.
Construction is tentatively scheduled to begin in December to install a single-span bridge over Jake’s Creek, a small feeder stream of the Niangua River that winds through a portion of the 7,761-acre MDC public use area. The $284,000 project was approved at the October Conservation Commission meeting.
The new bridge will alleviate transportation challenges for aquatic life using the stream and for people trying to cross it. At present, a concrete slab allows passage across the stream on the area’s State Forest Road, a gravel road that takes users to and from a portion of the Lead Mine Area where primitive camping is allowed. The new bridge will allow safer travel across the creek during high-water conditions and reduce the risk of campers being trapped by flash flooding (a situation that has, on occasion happened in the past).
“We are real happy to get a safer crossing of Jake’s Creek for the public to enjoy,” said MDC Resource Forester and Lead Mine area manager Steven Laval.
Aquatic creatures living in Jakes Creek will also benefit from the new bridge. During low-water times, the slab is high enough to restrict the stream’s flow, which causes problems for organisms that live in the water. The new bridge will allow for a constant flow of water.
The camping area and river access to the north of where the bridge is being installed will be closed while construction is underway. People with questions about this project or other aspects of Lead Mine Conservation Area can contact Laval at the MDC Lebanon Office, 417-532-7612. Area closures will be posted on the MDC’s website for Lead Mine Conservation Area at