UPDATE: Cedar Grove Bridge Marked For Demolition
By Mike Perleberg
Update posted Thursday, April 17 at 11:35 a.m.:
An effort to save the Cedar Grove Bridge is not over. A hearing to have the bridge placed on the National Register of Historic Places will take place on Thursday, April 24th at the Indiana Government Center in Indianapolis.
But, Indiana Department of Transportation Seymour District spokesman Harry Maginity warns, adding the bridge to the register won’t necessary prevent it from being demolished.
Maginity confirmed to Eagle 99.3 that INDOT plans to let out – or begin accepting bids on – the demolition project in August of 2015. Assuming those bids meet INDOT’s expectations, which Maginity estimated at around $240,000, the bridge could be taken down in late 2015 or 2016.
Maginity said INDOT, the agency in ownership of the bridge, is concerned with liability. Parts of the bridge have reportedly fallen to the ground and river below, where canoers often pass. Some neighboring property owners also view the 100-year-old structure as a nuisance and hazard, he said.
Original story published Wednesday, April 16 at 11:56 a.m.:
(Cedar Grove, Ind.) – A local bridge beyond repair will be demolished next year.
The Cedar Grove Bridge, built in 1914, used to carry State Road 1 over the Whitewater River in Franklin County. It closed to traffic in 1999 and little to no maintenance has been performed on it since.
Today, pedestrians – much less vehicles – are not permitted to walk across the bridge. Pieces of metal are falling of. Concrete and metal supports are crumbling and bending.
According to the Brookville American-Democrat newspaper, INDOT plans to take down the bridge in 2015. Franklin County Highway Department Engineer Ted Cooley broke the news to Franklin County Commissioners on Monday.
Preservation organizations Indiana Landmarks and a group called Friends of the Cedar Grove Bridge, a committee part of the Whitewater Canal Trail organization, have unsuccessfully attempted to acquire the bridge from INDOT in recent years so that it could be restored.
In February of 2013, Franklin County Commissioners declined an offer from INDOT to take responsibility of the Cedar Grove Bridge. INDOT would have provided $1.5 million over three years while the county would take responsibility for the bridge and a portion of Old State Road 1 in Franklin County.
Commissioners did not believe the $1.5 million would be enough to maintain Old SR 1 and install a new bridge on Duck Creek Road in Metamora.