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Kentucky's Covered Bridges

Started by seicer, February 24, 2009, 06:45:39 PM

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Cabin Creek Bridge stabilization underway
By Michael Arthur, Ledger Independent, February 19, 2009

TOLLESBORO -- A steel reinforcement system intended to stabilize a local landmark could be in place within a few weeks.

Once the stabilization is in place, however, officials involved with the project say additional work will be delayed until total funding can be secured to complete the landmark's restoration.

Representatives of various agencies involved with the proposed restoration of Cabin Creek Covered Bridge met in Frankfort Tuesday and discussed the stabilization plan and funding ideas to complete the project, as well as progress on the nearly complete Johnson Creek Covered Bridge in nearby Robertson County.

Cabin Creek Covered Bridge is a 114-foot single span bridge built in 1873, and is one of only 12 remaining covered bridges in Kentucky.

Approximately $500,000 has been allocated by National Historic Covered Bridge Preservation Program for Cabin Creek Covered Bridge's rescue and repair. Lewis County Judge-Executive Steve Applegate said the agencies involved have "put a requisition in to take some of those dollars to go ahead and begin the Phase I stage of the restoration -- to set the bridge upon a secure truss."

Phase I of the project, Applegate explained, involves installing the massive steel reinforcement system that was used to stabilize Johnson Creek Covered Bridge during its restoration.

According to Transportation Cabinet spokesperson Mark Brown, the Johnson Creek project is practically finished, with the exception of some flooring work that remains.

"We are happy with that project and the way it is turning out," said Brown. "We believe a show place is in the making."

The reinforcement system will help to prevent any additional damage to the aging landmark spanning Cabin Creek, Applegate said. The structure of the bridge currently has serious deficiencies and community supporters who have advocated its restoration feared a large enough influx of water into Cabin Creek could wash the landmark downstream, and destroy it in the process. Luckily, the structure did not appear to be significantly damage by recent winter storms, and the truss could be installed before spring flooding arrives.

"Within the next couple weeks, they are going to move the truss system to the site," Applegate said.

After the truss is installed and the bridge is no longer at risk for further damage, Applegate said the remaining restoration will be held off until all the money to complete the project is found.

It is unclear exactly how much will be needed to finish the project up, but Brown previously told The Ledger Independent that similar restoration attempts have cost between $1 million and $1.5 million. Applegate said various funding ideas were discussed at Tuesday's meeting, which also involved representatives of the Buffalo Trace Covered Bridge Authority, Kentucky Department of Parks and the Transportation Cabinet. The Historic Covered Bridge Preservation Program is federally administered.

"Between the different organizations, we have several ideas," he said. "They are really optimistic about not having too many problems getting the rest of the money for the restoration."

Applegate said he believes the preservation of Cabin Creek Bridge is important to the local community.

"It's a nice asset to the county," he said. "There are a lot of young people who have never seen a covered bridge like that before."

Brown said the community support that has poured out for the project is something to be proud of.

"That's just another example of the ownership that the community has taken in these bridges and what an important symbol they are of those communities," Brown said. "It's great to see that they take pride in these structures that carry so much heritage about Kentucky, and particularly those communities."

Cabin Creek Covered Bridge, also called Rectorville Bridge or Mackey-Hughes Bridge, is currently closed to foot and vehicular traffic.


I am glad that steps were taken to preserve this bridge----I love these old structures----

This the interior of a restored covered bridge near Mt. Orab, Ohio

the exterior 

and another one found along a county road in Logan County, Ohio--taken from one of my kayaks--this is the south fork of the Great Miami River--it leads into the waters of Indian Lake--but not far away just past a dam-is the official start of the Great Miami River that makes its way down to the Ohio River west of Cincinnati

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