PAOLI, Ind. — Repair work is expected to begin in a few months on a 130-year-old iron bridge in southern Indiana that partially collapsed when a semitrailer tried to cross it last Christmas.
The Gospel Street Bridge in the town of Paoli should be rebuilt by next spring, said Don Brewer, the president of the Orange County Commissioners.
“Basically, what they’re planning to do is pick the bridge up off the stream, set it in the street just south of where it’s placed, and rebuild it right there on the street, and then set it back on the foundation,” Brewer told WDRB-TV (http://bit.ly/2cH2pzz ).
He expects the repairs to the bridge, which was built in the 1880s, to cost about $700,000, far short of the original quote that exceeded $1 million.
“If that’s the case, we’re fairly certain the insurance company will take up the full tab so the taxpayers won’t be out any money at all,” Brewer said.
County leaders are considering height clearance bars for the bridge’s entrances to deter large trucks from trying to cross the span.
The bridge partially collapsed on Dec. 25 when police say a truck carrying a load of bottled water weighing nearly six times the posted limit drove onto it and became struck.
The driver is scheduled to face trial in March on a charge related to the collapse.
The bridge closure about 50 miles northwest of Louisville, Kentucky, has been an inconvenience for Paoli residents who must use an alternative route.
Resident Andy Mahler said he looks forward to the bridge being restored.
“We always loved everything about it, the feel of it, the look of it,” he said.
Information from: WDRB-TV, — http://www.fox41.com