Spans of the Bridgeton Bridge are ready to be moved into place today.
By DIANE DIERKS
It's been a long time since fire destroyed the Bridgeton bridge in April, 2005.
The newly constructed Bridgeton covered bridge is to be moved into place today. At 5 a.m. the concrete bridge next to the site of the covered bridge was to be closed and no one will be able to cross the creek until the moving process is completed. The crane was due to arrive at 8:30 a.m. and then hoist the two spans of the covered bridge into place. Randy Norman, superintendent of the Parke County Highway Department, has requested that no one park along the Hawkins Road that leads into Bridgeton, in order to allow sufficient room to transport the crane.
According to Dan Collum, contractor of the project, Parke County has the highest concentration of bridges per county in the United States. He attributes the longevity of the covered bridges to a specific type of construction known as "Burr Arch", which is a dual support system consisting of trusses and arches. Although new materials are being used in the construction, the original cast iron washers will hold the tie rods and scarf joints in place.
After the two spans of the covered bridge are moved, the roof and siding will be attached and Mr. Collum hopes to achieve the goal of completing the entire project in four weeks; just in time for the 50th annual Covered Bridge Festival. He emphasized that reconstruction of the Bridgeton covered bridge would not be possible without the contribution of thousands of volunteers.
Food and beverages will be available and Bridgeton merchants will be open for business. It is suggested that those who wish to view this historical event should enter Bridgeton from S.R. 59, due to parking and businesses being located on the south side of the bridge.