Bridge No. 78, located on County Road 300 North, east of CR 25 West, recently had some structural work done to repair one of the main support beams.
"The No. 78 bridge main support beam was rotting, it is believed to be a response to natural weather pattern of Mother Nature," Clay County Farm Bureau President Marshall Nuckolls said. "The structure was built in 1990, and there are currently six structures left in the county."
Like everything else in the economy, the cost has increased. Because of this, the number of Timber Bridges has decreased.
"The Timber Bridge Program was a cost effective way for bridges to be constructed at the time," Clay County Commissioners President Charlie Brown said. "Now an engineer is used when building timber bridges, where as a flat car bridge doesn't require an engineer."
The conclusion is "cheaper is better."
"It's just cheaper to build the flat car bridges, and save the tax payers money," Clay County Highway Supt. Pete Foster said.
The upkeep of the Timber Bridges is still a priority, and the commissioners are using every resource possible to maintain the bridges and safe passages of Clay County.
"The Timber Bridge Co. took samples from all the bridges," Brown said. "And they fixed this one free of cost, even though some of the timber was brought in from Colorado."
The Timber Bridge Co. is a division of the Resource Conservation and Development Council, Inc. (RC&D)
The RC&D is a national organization that preserves, assists and coordinates with local citizens in conservation and the development of resources.
"The RC&D is working hard to help keep the beauty of our community," Nuckolls said. "We believe that if a renewable resource is managed properly then it will last longer and have a greater effect on the future of the community."
RC&D week is scheduled for Sept. 22-28, and the Sycamore Trails RC&D Council, Inc. can be accessed via the web at www.sycamoretrails.org/.