Peabody public works director Darren Pickens was traveling east on Fifth Street shortly before noon Tuesday to check on the lift station at the corner of Fifth and Prairie Lawn.
As he drove over a bridge that spans a small nameless creek just east of the school track he noticed a good-sized hole in the area where the bridge joins the road.
Pickens backed up to get a better look and realized the bridge was structurally compromised.
City employees erected barricades some distance from each end of the bridge and tied yellow caution tape across the road in several places.
Pickens said the city is trying to determine exactly who owns the bridge.
“We don’t know for sure if it is city property or county property,” he said. “Of course people should stay away until it is repaired.”
There was no assessment of the damage or potential repair or replacement costs at press time.