Work set to begin on covered bridge at Scipio

The Indiana Department of Transportation recently met with Jennings County and contractor representatives at the Seymour District offices to discuss plans for refurbishing the historic covered bridge at Scipio in Geneva Township.

Work to restore the 156-foot wooden structure that spans Sand Creek on County Road 575W — just east of State Road 7 — is scheduled to begin Monday. It was last refurbished in 1984.

The bridge is a Howe through truss design built in 1886 by a Toledo, Ohio, firm at a cost of $600. It is one of two Howe truss bridges in the county. The James bridge is a 140-foot structure over Big Graham Creek in Lovett Township.

Bradshaw Building Specialties of North Vernon is the contractor for this $542,357 Local Public Agency project, sponsored by Jennings County. It is charged with roof replacement, patching and painting; siding replacement, deck replacement and portal restoration; stone abutment repairs; and any needed structural repairs.

Jennings County is paying 20 percent of the project cost, and 80 percent is being funded by the Federal Highway Administration. INDOT administers federal monies and assures compliance with federal standards.

Janssen and Spaans Engineering of Indianapolis is providing day-to-day project oversight. FPBH Inc. of North Vernon developed the engineering plans.

The covered bridge is upstream about 80 feet from a new three-span composite concrete structure that will replace it for County Road 575W vehicular traffic. That bridge, being built by Duncan Robertson of Franklin, is scheduled to open on or before June 30.

The projected cost for the new bridge is $1,345,506.

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