Vandals over the weekend struck the historic Old Richardsville Road bridge, just days before restoration work was to be completed.
A resident of the area discovered graffiti painted on the bridge, which dates to the 19th century and has been undergoing a restoration in recent weeks.
The vandals spray-painted messages on the wood flooring and along the temporary concrete barriers erected while repairs are being made. Some of the messages contained obscenities while others made reference to fraternities or sororities at Western Kentucky University.
Warren County Public Works Director Josh Moore, who has worked to get the bridge back in working order since a state inspection found structural deficiencies in 2018, said Sunday that he expected a final inspection of the bridge prior to its reopening to take place within a week.
Work on the bridge is being done by Lexington’s Intech Contracting under a $293,523 contract with Warren Fiscal Court. It is being financed through a grant from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, which declared the bridge unsafe in 2018.
The repairs will restore a 420-foot-long bridge that dates to 1889, is on the National Register of Historic Places and had become over the years a magnet for tourists because of ghostly legends attached to the structure.
The graffiti prompted an email message from one area resident who called for lighting and security cameras on the bridge.
In an email, Moore said: “The county is considering lighting; however, the reopening of the bridge will likely take place first.”
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