The graceful five-span Cotter Bridge (with a small sixth entrance arch) changed the life of the town, opening up the largely inaccessible Ozarks to road transportation and becoming a major factor in the development of tourism in north-central Arkansas. The bridge is the only one in the state constructed by the Marsh Engineering Company of Des Moines, Iowa. In the Marsh system (named for James B. Marsh, who patented it in 1912), the steel arches are assembled on the ground and lifted onto piers, and the structure is then encased in concrete. During its opening in 1930, an airplane released a stream of poppies over the span, and this graceful design has been showered with accolades ever since. The bridge is a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark.
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