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Williams Covered Bridge Restoration Nearly Complete
Updated May 5, 2013 1:09 AM | Filed under: WBIW News
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(WILLIAMS) - Lawrence County Project Manager Bob Dillon told the commissioners that residents were visiting the Williams Covered Bridge this weekend.

The Williams Covered Bridge, built in 1884, has been renovated and only a few minor things need to be completed before it is finished.

Repairs were made to the roof, trusses and all the siding was replaced and painted. The bridge was painted with a clear-coating to protect against fire and a heavy-duty fence was placed inside to protect the bridge from vandals.

The bridge was set afire by three vandals on June 18, 2010. Damage was estimated at $1,000, and the structure was repaired.

The new Williams Bridge, spanning the White River, was dedicated in 2010. The application to build the structure was filed in 1995, with an anticipated completion date of 1998. Soon, complications intervened.

"The application was held up at INDOT for a few years and finally approved late in 2000," Dillon recalled. There were a couple of delays in the project due to environmental issues concerning an endangered species of mussel that supposedly lives in that section of the White River."

An underwater search by divers never recovered live mussels of the endangered species in question. The environmental concerns finally were satisfied in 2006. Still, it took four more years to complete the project.

The original estimated cost was $3 million, not including engineering costs. The final total was just under $5 million.

Neither Spreen nor fellow commissioners Chris May and David Flinn were in office when the project was proposed.

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