Officials planning to rebuild historic covered bridge

Pat Manger
By Kristin Rover
Sun staff

Engineers and contractors took time to assess the damage of the Stonelick Williams Corner Road historic covered bridge that collapsed Feb. 11 and are planning to continue rebuilding the bridge.

“The plan moving forward is still the plan,” Clermont County Engineer Patrick Manger said.

Manger said they were in the process of rehabbing the historic bridge and it had been under construction for several months.

Manger said they will continue with their project using as much of the original material as possible after the bridge collapsed.

“The plan is still to have the Howe Truss and reuse as much wood as we can,” Manger said.

Manger said he and contractors with the Righter Company, the company rehabbing the bridge, met the day after the bridge collapsed to assess the situation.

“The first thing the contractor did was get two cranes and they were able to pick up the truss that went into the river,” Manger said.

Manger said the contractor continued recovering the bridge materials throughout the week, and will soon begin evaluating the materials to determine if they are safe enough to use.

He said they will decide if different components of the bridge need to be replaced, if they can be rehabbed or if they are in good condition and can be used as original pieces.

“This is going to get evaluated like it would have never gotten evaluated,” Manger said about the bridge materials.

Manger said the Righter Company has been great to work with through the process. He said the owner of the company has completed more than 40 similar rehab projects and was shocked that the bridge collapsed.

Four employees with the company were working on the bridge when it collapsed. All of them made it off the bridge safely.

Clermont County Commissioners said they support salvaging materials and rebuilding the historic bridge.

Commissioner Ed Humphrey said they will still use the Howe Truss structure. He said the project will likely be pushed back four to five months because of the recent collapse.