Historic Richardsville bridge shut down over structural concerns

The Old Richardsville Road bridge, which dates back to 1889 and was restored in the 1980s, has been closed for more than three years after the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet found structural deficiencies.

A historic bridge that has been out of commission for more than three years and a rural road that has been in need of a bridge for even longer could soon be getting the help they need.

Warren Fiscal Court on Friday approved the requests of county Public Works Director Josh Moore to advertise for bids on repairing the Old Richardsville Road bridge and to advertise for bids on replacing a concrete low-water crossing on Little Beaver Creek Road with a new bridge.

Both projects are expected to move quickly, now that they have reached the bid stage.

“The goal is to get it done this year,” Moore said of repairs to the Old Richardsville Road bridge that was shut down by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet in March 2018 because of structural concerns.

The county has received $312,000 in KYTC funds to repair the county-maintained bridge that dates to the 19th century and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

That historic nature and its unique “bowstring” design have delayed getting repairs made on the bridge, which was condemned in the 1980s when it was maintained by the state.

The late David Garvin, founder of Camping World, bought the bridge from the state after that condemnation and had it restored.

Moore is now hoping for another restoration that maintains the bridge’s historic nature.

“It will essentially look the same as it always has,” Moore said. “The state felt strongly that we needed to keep it in historical context.”

Moore cautioned that, because of a scarcity of some building materials that is driving up costs, the Richardsville project could face budget and timetable challenges.

“We do anticipate some delay in getting materials,” he said. “Material costs are up, but the county will make up whatever difference there is if the state funding falls short.”

As for the bridge over Little Beaver Creek, Moore said it will be funded out of county coffers but that he could seek emergency funding from the state. He estimated in November that the project would cost around $360,000.

Fifth District Magistrate Mark Young said last year that a bridge over Little Beaver Creek has been needed for years.

“It’s a low-water ford, and any time we get significant rain the water gets over the road,” Young said.

In another transportation-related issue, Moore said he is still waiting to get the materials needed to repair the section of Pondsville Road near Smiths Grove that was washed away by heavy rains earlier this month.

The magistrates approved a number of other spending items at Friday’s meeting, including:

  • $27,600 for the Plano Volunteer Fire Department to purchase a 1999 ladder fire truck from the Bowling Green Fire Department.
  • $66,340 to Boyd Cat for a Cat Track Loader and brush cutter to be used for maintaining the Interstate 65 interchanges that have been improved through the “BeautifI-65” program started by Operation PRIDE Chairman Johnny Webb.
  • $61,618.52 to Wright Implement for a tractor and rotary cutter to be used for the “BeautifI-65” project. County Judge-Executive Mike Buchanon said the cost of equipment for the project will be split with the city of Bowling Green.
  • $32,338.16 to Legacy Outdoor Power Equipment for two replacement mowers for the county parks and recreation department.
  • $7,322.84 for four Dell computers for the Stormwater Management staff.
  • $11,326.26 to Wright Implement for a replacement mower for Phil Moore Park.

– Follow business reporter Don Sergent on Twitter @BGDNbusiness or visit bgdailynews.com.