This week a ruling in favor of some Craighead County landowners was upheld in court.

The landowners filed a federal complaint in 2017 over the construction of a bridge on Lawrence 717 that caused flooding after it was not properly maintained by Lawrence County.

The bridge which replaced a wooden bridge was constructed under the authority of then Lawrence County Judge Alex Latham in the late 1990’s. The bridge according to petitioners was constructed illegally over the West Cache River Slough. The older bridge was constructed on pillars, the new construction was made of old rail cars and a crude dirt and concrete embankment resulting in sediment build up and debris eventually clogging and causing widespread flooding.

The plaintiffs have been awarded $770,414.41 by U.S. District Judge Kristine G. Baker on March 31, 2023, that judgement has not only been upheld but recent court filings show that Lawrence County will be held responsible for $89.94 in interest daily until the judgement is paid, garnishments were already in place before Tuesday’s ruling.

Landowners claimed flooding from the bridge caused crop losses for 892 days.

During the appeal, testimony was heard from hydraulic engineers that found credible evidence and examples of how 18 of the 27 tracts of land had been negatively affected by the flooding caused by the bridge’s construction.