Arts/Culture
1:26 pm
Sat March 1, 2014

Cabin Creek Covered Bridge Restoration Project Completed

Cabin Creek Covered Bridge (Lewis County, KY)
Cabin Creek Covered Bridge (Lewis County, KY)
Credit Terry Prather, The Ledger Independent

A final inspection of the Cabin Creek Covered Bridge is scheduled for Monday afternoon (March 3).

According to Arnold Graton, owner of Arnold Graton Associates, the bridge was completed and all equipment was removed on Wednesday.

"All equipment was removed and everyone left on Wednesday," he said. "On Monday, the state architectures will be in town to do the final inspection."

Graton said the inspection will occur at 1:30 p.m., weather permitting.

Throughout the process, Graton said he replaced the original timbers, which have rotted out and shortened the original 118 feet base timbers by six feet.

Graton said he hopes to see the bridge opened up to small vehicle traffic once completed.

"We've enjoyed our time in Kentucky and being given the opportunity to restore the Cabin Creek Covered Bridge," Graton said. "I hope we can come back soon."

The bridge is one of 13 surviving covered bridges in Kentucky, according to Graton. One of those bridges is privately owned. All have now been restored with the exception of Beech Fork, Ringo Mills and Grange City.

The Cabin Creek bridge was originally built in 1873 by William Henderson as a 114-foot, single-span, multiple kings post bridge, according to Patrick Kennedy, preservation officer for the Kentucky Heritage Council.

It was closed in 1983 to foot and vehicle traffic, due to storm damage. It fell into disrepair after flood waters damaged more of the bridge.

Kennedy also said the original builder of the Lewis County bridge is buried on site.

"He's not directly next to the bridge but near the creek the bridge crosses," Kennedy said.

According to Kennedy, the restoration plans began in the early to mid-1990s, when the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet hired two engineering companies to evaluate all the covered bridges in the state and rate them based on which bridges were in the worst shape. The cabinet then focused on fixing the bridges based on their level of need.

The Cabin Creek bridge restoration cost approximately $1.2 million and has been fully funded through a transportation enhancement program.

The restoration is ahead of schedule. In August, Judge-Executive Todd Ruckel said he expected the bridge to be completed around summer. Ruckel has previously said he hopes to have a grand opening for the bridge once the warm weather returns.

The Ledger Independent is online at: http://www.maysville-online.com