By Wayne Allen
Scioto County Engineer Craig Opperman was recently awarded a preservation award for this efforts in the restoration of the Otway Covered Bridge. The award was given by the Federal Highway Administration and the Ohio Department of Transportation, State Historic Preservation Office and the County Engineers Association of Ohio.
According to released information, this award is given to honor recent efforts that rehabilitate historic bridges, keeping them in service, and/or preserving them at a new location. Context-sensitive bridge designs and sustainable practices which incorporate aesthetic elements and components of older bridge types are also eligible for the award.
The Otway Covered Bridge project was started in the fall of 2012. The Scioto County Engineer entered into an agreement with the Otway Historical Society, Brush Creek Township and the Village of Otway that the County Engineer’s Department would oversee the project. The engineering firm of Jones-Stuckey, co-recipient of award, was selected to design and draw a set of plans to rehabilitate the bridge. Once the plans were approved then the project was bid.
The Righter Company, of Columbus, was awarded a contract for $421,900, in November of 2013, to complete the work.
“Everyone played a key part in completing the Otway Bridge Project and this award is truly shared by the whole community. As anyone can see, the results of this preservation project are remarkable and stand for the enjoyment of future generations,” Opperman said.
According to the Scenic Scioto Heritage Trail, the bridge is located southwest of the junction of state routes 73 and 348. The bridge was erected in 1874 and was in use until it was bypassed in 1963. This historic structure is listed on the National Registry and was completely restored by the village of Otway in 1974. What makes the Otway Bridge so unique is that, of the 80 or so covered bridges that were built in the history of Scioto County, it is the lone survivor.
For more information, visit the Otway Historical Society and Covered Bridge on Facebook.
Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 1933 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT