Now if we can just keep the kids with spray cans and party-hearty crowd away from it.
I was out at the Williams Bridge yesterday. The rehabilitation work is complete and the bridge looks really nice. It is closed to all cars and trucks. Bollards block the openings and there are locked gates on the roadways to keep traffic out. With the new bridge built nearby, there really is no reason for cars and trucks to drive on this bridge.
Let's not forget the recently rehabbed Brooks Bridge
The bridge is 46 feet above the river at a normal pool level (which can change drastically at droughts and flood levels). I have canoed the entire distance (190 miles) of the East Fork White River from Columbus to Petersburg. Perhaps no stream in the state has as many bigger, older and historical structures still standing as this one does. All the older bridges having been built before 1900 except the SR 11 Bridge. Beginning with the SR 11 bridge north of Seymour then progressing downstream you have; Shieldstown, Vallonia, Medora, Sparksville, Fort Ritner, Williams and Butler. Until recently you could have added Haysville and Portersville and half of the Bells Ford bridge. Let's only hope the remaining bridges remain for years to come. Lately, Medora and Butler have been rehabbed, Williams, Sparksville and Vallonia bypassed.
Good news for this bridge...I was looking through the new InDOT letting for Feb. 9th and Call 490 is for the rehabilitation of this bridge. If someone wants to look through the plans go to the website below;
The contract number is 31482. From there it will show the plans and proposal items that can be downloaded.
I've never actually measured it......but it's my understanding that those pier stones are each 18" high. If that is true, going by pic #3, then I count appx. 24 layers which would mean 36ft. plus a couple extra. My total "guestimate" would be about 38 feet......give or take.
If there one feature that sticks out about this bridge - It's the pier. Anybody know high this bridge is?
Why should people who don't care and only want a dry way across a stream have to pay for the benefit of your hobby? Should people have to cut back school spending to cover the costs? Maybe Medicare should be trimmed to fix historic bridges, after all the bridges are sometimes older than the medicare recipients!
If the cost are marginal or the non government funding can be found that's great. The historic bridges should be given special consideration. It's not really right in my mind to take money from people to use for our hobby. I think that should be considered theft.
They did it the right way at Moscow.
Actually, if this span is restored I think it will come at the hard work and dedication that the people in this small town have toward saving it. The bridge is constantly under besiege from graffiti bandits and more recently the threat of arson. I fear that bypassing and closing it completely to traffic will not help matters any. Other spans like Roann in Northern Indiana and Eldean in Ohio have been bypassed and closed only to later be reopened to light traffic. In both cases this has seemed to help lessen the problems of vandalism.
I DO agree that all historic bridges should be eligible for the same funding for restoration. Perhaps it shouldn't come down to what a span is made of as much as more important factors, like how much local support exists and the rarity of the structure itself.
I'll Second Matt's Comment!
I'm quite certain that since it is a wooden covered bridge, that the federal government, along with plenty of other entities, will funnel the money to fund a full restoration. If it were a metal truss bridge with equal historic value, you could pretty much kiss it goodbye with no chance of receiving any restoration funds from anyone--only funds for a new, ugly concrete replacement.
Just looked at an online news article that the new bridge has been completed and the covered bridge has been closed. It is a shame but not a surprise since there arent many other bridges surrounding it. There is talk in the article that the town of Williams wants their spectacular bridge extensively renovated along with surveliance cameras installed and treatment with fire retardent. I only wish the bridge could have stayed open for light traffic especially since it appears the new bridge is far away.
My mother and her siblings were raised in Williams, Indiana. A few years ago I went with my uncle Paul Kern and my cousin, Marjorie Kern Owens to the covered bridge. At first I thought it was scarey but after going over it several times I enjoyed it very much. Three of my grandchildren played on the bridge. I took many pictures and bought one that hangs in my home in New Mexico. I feel like the bridge is part of my family history. I hope to see it again someday soon.
This is a spectacular bridge, that is once you get down on the river. It literally soars across the river valley.
Webmaster's note: The photos that were here have been incorporated into the main site.