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Cedar Ford Bridge Project Construction To Begin Next Year
Updated November 1, 2016 8:25 AM
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(BLOOMINGTON) - Monroe County officials hope to have construction started of a wooden, covered bridge spanning Beanblossom Creek started in 2018.

The bridge will connect North and Old Maple Grove roads. The bridge will serve two purposes: improving traffic flow in the northern part of the county and restoring something of historical value to the county.

The Cedar Ford Bridge Project tentatively will be open for bidding in October 2017.

Monroe County Public Works Director Lisa Ridge says the project is being designed by the Bloomington office of VS Engineering Inc.

The Monroe County Board of Commissioners approved entering into a contract with the Indiana Department of Transportation to advance the project. The estimated cost is $1.5 million, $812,000 of which will be paid through funding from the National Covered Bridge Preservation Protection Program. The remaining amount will be paid for out of the county's Cumulative Bridge Fund.

Jim Barker, a project manager with VS Engineering, says the bridge will resemble a typical Kennedy Brothers bridge with 30 percent of the timber that made up the previous bridge being used as part of the new bridge's reconstruction. Crews will also improve the surrounding roadway leading up to the 127-foot, single span bridge.

Cedar Ford will be the first covered bridge in the county in four decades - the last one, Williams bridge, burned in what was likely arson on June 29, 1976.

The bridge, once completed, will sit very close to the location of Monroe County's last covered bridge - Williams Bridge - that carried North Maple Grove Road traffic over Bean Blossom Creek for nearly 105 years. It was in use until the 1960s, when the county started talking about moving it. The county spent $20,000 restoring it, just before a fire destroyed it.

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