Posted on

Project approved for new, old bridge

Project approved for new, old bridge
Project approved for new, old bridge
Harrison County Commissioners Carl (Buck) Mathes and Jim Klinstiver, along with others, make a site visit Thursday afternoon to Bridge 58, which crosses Indian Creek southwest of Corydon. Photo by Ross Schulz (click for larger version)

Harrison County District 2 Commissioner Carl (Buck) Mathes, and the board of commissioners, took one of the final steps Thursday afternoon needed to be completed before construction on a new bridge across Valley View Road above Indian Creek could begin.
Mathes’ plan is to construct the bridge adjacent to the existing, 100-year-old-plus structure and keep the old truss bridge as a historical landmark to be used as a pedestrian bridge.
The bridge is needed because the existing one, with just a load capacity of nine tons, can’t handle needed farm equipment. The single-lane bridge is limited in width and can’t support emergency vehicles or school buses. The approaches to both sides of the bridge are also dangerous, Darin Duncan, representing Heritage Engineering (bridge contractor), said, with 90-degree turns leading to the bridge.
The new structure will be dual lane.
The existing bridge is the last one of its kind in the county, an iron/steel pratt through truss, and Mathes’ plan is to have it repainted and maintained regularly to keep its integrity.
Harrison County welcomed representatives from the Indiana State Historic Preservation, Army Corps of Engineers and federal historic preservationists to discuss moving the project forward and for a site visit of the bridge.
The National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 contains a section, 106, that requires federal agencies to take into account the effects of projects on properties listed or eligible to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Greg Sekula, director of the southern regional office of Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana, applauded the commissioners for their effort to save the bridge. He agreed to allow the building of the new one with the restriction that a maintenance plan had to be created for the structure that is more than 100 years old. He said the new bridge would have an ‘adverse effect’ on the ‘viewship’ from the old bridge. As it sits now, looking up and down stream, there’s no other manmade structure within view from the old bridge.
Leiellen Atz of the Army Corps of Engineers, disagreed with Sekula and said, that while the new bridge will affect the viewship from the old bridge, it does not do so in an adverse way. The new bridge will be built with an antique, rustic quality, to fall in line with the old bridge.
Harrison County Engineer Kevin Russel said he thought the county was going out of its way to make sure the bridge didn’t have an adverse affect.
Atz agreed to label the project as having an adverse affect to move the project forward. The project requires a permit from the Army Corps, per the Clean Water Act, as well as approval from the State Historic Preservation Office following the National Historic Preservation Act.
The county hopes to begin the project next spring.