PDT Staff Writer
At a bid opening exclusively attended by the Daily Times regarding the rehabilitation of the Otway Covered Bridge, two bids were received and each did not meet the expectations of Scioto County Engineer Craig Opperman.
The bids were received and according to Copperman, both bids did not come close to the estimated cost of the project.
Bids were received from RC Construction of Peebles, Ohio for $491,000 and the other from The Righter Company of Columbus for $501,700.
“These are way over, I don’t know where they think this is so complex,” Opperman said. “We sent this out to six potential bidders.”
When asked what this means for the life of the project, Opperman said, “We’ll have to reject the bids for one thing.”
Opperman would not divulge how much the bids were over project estimates, but would only acknowledge they were, “way over.”
“Now we have to figure out where to trim from the project, based upon the numbers that were presented to us,” Opperman said. “This is not as good as news as it could have been because now we have to go through the whole process again.”
According to released information from The Otway Historical Society, the Otway Covered Bridge has been a historical landmark that has attracted people to our county and to the Otway area for many years. However, the bridge has fallen into a state of serious disrepair. In March of 2012, a portion of the bridge roof was damaged by an F-0 strength tornado that went through Otway and also damaged the fire department. According to Otway Mayor Suzanne Nichols, the damages to the bridge were estimated at $1,800. Nichols said Belfor Restoration, of Columbus, was awarded a contract to replace the damaged part of the covered bridge roof.
Opperman said the bridge currently has a bow in it. He said the bridge needs attention in order to preserve it.
“We are trying to do this as quickly as we can in trying to address this situation,” 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.
Donations can be sent to Scenic Scioto Heritage Trail, PO Box 536 Portsmouth, Ohio 45662 (Attention Covered Bridge.) For more information contact Norval Davis at 740-372-8320, Mike Seaman at 740-372-8888, or Jake Orlett at 740-259-5747, or visit the groups Facebook pages “Otway Historical Society and Otway Covered Bridge.”
Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 228, or firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Wayne on Twitter @WayneallenPDT.