By Wayne Allen
Scioto County Engineer Craig Opperman said the Otway Covered Bridge restoration project has reached a milestone and is nearly complete.
“Yesterday (Monday, June 30) the covered bridge was taken off its supports, and is standing on it’s own now,” Opperman said.
In November of 2013, the Scioto County Commissioners approved a contract with the Righter Company, of Columbus, for $421,900, for the repair and rehabilitation of the bridge.
“We are on the trailing end (of the project) now. All of the main structural work is completed. They are finishing up the purlins on the roof this week and they are hoping to start putting the roof on this week,”
Opperman said with this being a short week the roof my not get complete.
“We’re within a month of finishing up out there,” Opperman said.
He said people can still view the structure while the project is ongoing, but advises, “keep your distance. It is a construction zone and the contractor is in control of the site. People should stay far enough away to not interfere with operations and for their own safety.”
According to 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.
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. Otway Mayor Suzanne Nichols said the damages to the bridge were estimated at $1,800, and Belfor Restoration, of Columbus, was awarded a contract to replace the damaged part of the bridge roof.
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. 228 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT