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Medora CB may qualify for stimulus funding
|Medora Covered Bridge|
Brownstown, Indiana, December 2, 2008 - President-elect Barack Obama's plan to spend billions to improve the nation's infrastructure might benefit the Medora covered bridge.
State transportation officials were informed about the possibility of federal funds becoming available to pay 100 percent of the cost to rehabilitate the bridge along Indiana 235, east of Medora. "It's part of the stimulus packages for roads, bridges and other things like that," said Garris, Jackson County highway superintendent before the Jackson County commissioners Tuesday.
Jackson County received an $880,000 grant from the National Historic Covered Bridge Preservation program in 2007 for the bridge, and the county has about $1.1 million in grants for the rehabilitation project, however,there is not enough match money for the project, Garris said.
Potential match money was used in 2006 to stabilize the eastern section of the bridge and place a roof over it.
Garris said the Medora bridge project is the only federally funded project far enough along in the pipeline to qualify for stimulus money. It takes about five years from the time a project is first discussed to being ready for construction because of federal rules. The Commissioners told Garris to explore the options in getting stimulus money if it becomes available.
Jackson County Parks Board Member Fleeta Arthur suggested that the county's collection of covered bridges would lure visitors to the area and help preserve local history. Jackson County has two covered bridges remaining. The other is the Shieldstown Covered Bridge [WGN 14-38-02] between Brownstown and Seymour. A third, the Bell Ford Bridge near Seymour, has been taken from the river and is to be moved to Lawrence, in Marion County.
The 331-foot Shieldstown Bridge was built in 1876 to cross the East Fork of the White River in two spans, using the Burr truss.
The Medora Bridge, at 434-feet, also crosses the East Fork of the White River. It was built in 1875 using a three-span Burr truss. It is locally claimed that the Medora is the longest covered bridge in the country, but that is discounting New Hampshire's 460-foot Cornish-Windsor Bridge [WGN 29-10-09], and the new 600-foot Smolen-Gulf Bridge [WGN 35-04-64] at Ashtabula, Ohio. The Medora may very well be the longest Burr truss covered bridge—the Cornish-Windsor uses a variation of the Town truss, the Smolen-Gulf, a Pratt truss.
For more on Jackson County's covered bridges go to
http://www.vermontbridges.com/medora.htm For the complete Tribtown.com Stimulus Funding article, go to
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Joe Nelson, P.O Box 267, Jericho, VT 05465-0267
This file posted 12/15/2008