(TURKEY RUN) - The State Budget Committee recently approved $217,800 to fix the storm-damaged suspension bridge at Turkey Run State Park.
The popular bridge has been closed since an April flood caused significant structural damage and made it unsafe for use by park visitors.
The bridge crosses Sugar Creek and connects the developed area of the park with the more remote northern section and its popular hiking trails through the sandstone canyons and forested area of Rocky Hollow Falls Canyon Nature Preserve.
During the April flood, Sugar Creek rose to within a foot of the bridge, causing an uprooted tree to become lodged in the structure. The resulting damage will require replacing the stringer beams, suspension cable and hangar rods, and fixing damage to concrete support towers.
The 202-foot-long suspension bridge was built in 1918, two years after Turkey Run became a state park.
The DNR Division of Engineering is preparing design specifications for the repairs and will begin soliciting bids this month. Once construction begins, the repair work is expected to take about two months.
Until the bridge is reopened, visitors can access the north side of the park by following Trail 1 to the Narrows Covered Bridge.
All trails south of Sugar Creek remain open to public use, as are the campground, pool, nature center, picnic shelters, saddle barn and Turkey Run Inn.
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