Covered bridge restoration complete

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Associated Press

Posted on March 8, 2014 at 1:02 PM

MAYSVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A five-year project to restore one of 13 covered bridges in Kentucky has been completed.

Arnold Graton, who owns the company overseeing the restoration of Cabin Creek Bridge in Lewis County, told The Ledger Independent (http://bit.ly/1f82WPk) that crews finished their work earlier this month and the span passed a final inspection last week.

Graton says the bridge, which had its original timbers replaced, is "all set" for its future.

"We've enjoyed our time in Kentucky and being given the opportunity to restore the Cabin Creek Covered Bridge," Graton said. "I hope we can come back soon."

The state still has three covered bridges — Beech Fork, Ringo Mills and Grange City — that have not been restored.

Lewis County Judge-Executive Todd Ruckel says there may be a grand opening for the bridge, but it would have to wait until the weather is warmer.

The $1.2 million project was funded through a transportation enhancement program.

Graton said he hopes the bridge will be opened to small vehicle traffic.

"Larger vehicles probably wouldn't be able to cross it," he has said. "But, it would be nice to see smaller vehicles be able to make use of it."

Patrick Kennedy, preservation officer for the Kentucky Heritage Council, says the Cabin Creek bridge was built by William Henderson in 1873 as a 114-foot, single-span, multiple kings post bridge.

It closed to vehicle and foot traffic in 1983 due to storm damage and fell into further disrepair due to flood waters.

Kennedy said restoration plans for the state's covered bridges began in the 1990s, when the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet hired engineering companies to evaluate all 13 and rate them based on which ones were in the worst shape.

The cabinet used that report to begin allocating funding for the restoration projects based on need.

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Information from: The Ledger Independent, http://www.maysville-online.com

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