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Cobleigh Road Bridge to close for inspection Tuesday morning

BUTTE FALLS — The historic bridge on Cobleigh Road will be closed from 8 a.m. to noon Tuesday for a biannual bridge inspection.

The inspection will be performed using a "snooper truck," which will take a close look at bridge components, including the columns, beams and bridge deck, according to the Jackson County Roads & Parks Department. The truck's presence on the one-lane truss bridge will not leave room for vehicles to pass, necessitating the closure.

A snooper truck takes the opposite approach of typical bucket trucks, which lift crew members into the air, said Roads and Parks Director John Vial.

"This is a bucket truck that can reach out to the side and beneath," said Vial. "The person sitting in the bucket can inspect the structural members of the bridge."

The bridge crosses a deep canyon over Big Butte Creek, and inspecting it without a snooper truck would be a costly, complicated endeavor, requiring complex climbing or scaffolding. 

The snooper truck will also be used to inspect the Table Rock Bridge over the Rogue River Tuesday afternoon, though the bridge will be able to stay open, with traffic confined to a single lane and directed by flag crews. 

The snooper truck and other equipment will be moved if emergency vehicles need to cross the bridge, but other traffic will have to wait. Residents who live in the area should be aware of the closure and plan to use alternate routes during the closure, if necessary.