By Wayne Allen
The $421,900 project aimed at extending the life of the of Otway Covered Bridge is now complete.
Scioto County Engineer Craig Opperman said earlier this week the project is finished and a ribbon cutting is schedule for Aug. 30, at 3 p.m., to ceremoniously reopen the bridge.
“They (the contractor) still has a storage container left at the site that needs to be moved away. They are essentially done and we have the final inspection with ODOT (Ohio Department Of Transportation) scheduled for next week,” Opperman said.
In November of 2013, the Scioto County Commissioners approved a contract with the Righter Company, of Columbus, for the repair and rehabilitation of the bridge. Opperman said his office is very satisfied with the work done by the Righter Company.
“With the degree of work that’s been done, they went over every little inch of this structure to look at the condition,” Opperman said. “Through the course of construction we feel we’ve got this thing in very stable condition. It’s got a long life ahead of it.”
According to The Otway Historical Society, the Otway Covered Bridge has been a historical landmark that has attracted people to our county, and to the Otway area, for many years.
In March of 2012, a portion of the bridge roof was damaged by an F-0 strength tornado that went through Otway and also damaged the fire department. Otway Mayor Suzanne Nichols said the damages to the bridge were estimated at $1,800, and Belfor Restoration, of Columbus, was awarded a contract to replace the damaged part of the bridge roof.
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.
For more information, visit the Otway Historical Society and Covered Bridge on Facebook.
Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 1933 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT