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Historic Paoli Bridge To Re-Open In January
Updated December 20, 2017 7:11 AM
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(PAOLI) - Paoli City officials are planning a grand re-opening of a historic Paoli Bridge.

The bridge has been closed since Christmas Day in 2015 when Mary Lambright drove a tractor-trailer across the historic bridge, causing it to collapse.

Lambright entered a blind plea of guilty to the reckless operation of a tractor-trailer; operating a vehicle over a bridge, causeway or viaduct while weighing more than maximum weight; disregarding an official traffic control device; and operating a motor vehicle in violation of restriction in March.

She apologized to everyone in Orange County saying that it was "a terrible mistake" and she never intended to cause the damage. Lambright said when she crossed the bridge that connects Lick Creek in downtown Paoli, she didn't realize her semi was too tall and too heavy for the bridge to support it.

paoli bridge collapse.jpg

A judge sentenced her to spend up to 180 days in jail.

Officials had hoped to have the bridge open by August of this year, but there were delays.

Orange County Commissioner Richard Dixon says the restoration project is nearly complete. Crews are currently installing reinforced entryways on both sides of the bridge that will prevent damage from any over-sized vehicles in the future.

Dixon says weather is going to play a factor, but the intent is to try to have that bridge open sometime in the first part of January.

Estimates put the cost of the repairs at about three-quarters of a million dollars.

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