Replace Old Covered Bridge
For months, Monroe County officials have been attempting to find enough money to renovate the Knowlton Covered Bridge near Graysville. Last Friday, they ran out of time. The 132-year-old wooden structure collapsed into the Little Muskingum River.
“I think Mother Nature just finally took its course,” remarked county Assistant Engineer James Fleeman.
Deterioration of the bridge had been obvious for some time. Located on Ohio 26, it had been closed to traffic for months.
County commissioners had as much as $500,000 in grant money available to restore the bridge, but a cost estimate in May came in at $900,000. Since then, officials have been attempting to locate other funds for the project.
At some point, the bridge ought to be replaced by something, strictly for transportation reasons. Because it carried a state road, the responsibility presumably would fall on the Ohio Department of Highways.
Monroe County’s finances do not permit expenditure of enough money to reconstruct the bridge, and that is a shame.
Few long-span covered bridges remain in the Buckeye State. They are both reminders of a bygone era and attractions for tourists. For those reasons, ODOT officials should give serious consideration to building a new covered bridge at the site.