Last week the Otway Covered Bridge was vandalized.
Someone, or a group of people, spray painted one side of the bridge. Scioto County Engineer Craig Opperman expressed frustration over the situation and said those responsible will be prosecuted.
Opperman said his office filed a report with the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office and there were crews at the bridge late last week cleaning the spray paint off the bridge.
“They spray painted the wig wall and one of piers. We went out there and cleaned it up,” Opperman said. “We’re looking for any information somebody may have.”
He said a lot of effort was put into preserving the historical bridge and to bring it into a useable condition.
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.
Opperman the vandals drew an 8-ball on the wall facing Ohio 348.
He said conversations have been ongoing since the incident, about what more could be done to prevent further incidents from occurring.
“We plan on placing signs out there stating if the individual is found we don’t have a problem prosecuting. We have no issues on trying to prosecute on somebody and perusing reimbursement for costs incurred,” Opperman said.
The estimated cost for cleanup is $200.
Opperman said his office is also looking for information on who shot out some windows on a loader at the Fredric Road outpost. The outpost is used to store materials and equipment.
He believes the windows were shot out with a sling shot.
“We’re also looking for information on that, because those windows can get expensive,” Opperman said.
For more information, visit the Otway Historical Society and Covered Bridge on Facebook.
Anyone with information about the incidents is encouraged to call the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office at 740-355-8261.
Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 1933 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT
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