And yeah, part of the reason for the new bridge was flooding, or more specifically, a dam failure. The old bridge is probably just 15' at most above the water at normal levels. That road is the only one that allows a lot of people on the other side of the river to cross, so no bridge leaves them with the option of staying home or a 50+ mile detour.
That waterway is part of what's known as the Dead River Basin. 5 dams, two being hydroelectric. One failed like a decade or so ago and the damage was pretty epic.