For more than three years, residents along Old Richardsville Road have dealt with inconvenience – and potential danger – brought about by the closing of a historic, single-lane bridge due to structural deficiencies.

That lengthy headache will soon be relieved, however, thanks to repairs that began last week by Lexington’s Intech Contracting under a $293,523 contract with Warren Fiscal Court.

The 420-foot-long bridge, which dates to 1889 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, has been the focus of improvement concerns since the 1980s, when the late David Garvin – founder of Camping World – financed repairs. (In honor of Garvin’s efforts, the structure was named the David Garvin Memorial Bridge in 2015, the year after his death.) That work held until 2018, when the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet closed the bridge due to structural problems.

Since then, those who live and work in the area have patiently awaited the moment that is expected to arrive in October – when the bridge is repaired and reopened, ending the annoying and sometimes hazardous detours that have been necessary for years. On top of that, the contractor – working from designs developed by Glasgow’s American Engineers Inc. – is making repairs to the bowstring-style bridge that will maintain its historic quality while restoring it to its three-ton weight capacity. The bridge is one of the oldest of its type in the United States, according to Warren County Public Works Director Josh Moore.

“It’s nice to be able to maintain the integrity of that bridge, which is unique,” area resident Ross Richey told the Daily News. “I realize that it takes time to do things right. Things seem to be tracking along as they should.”

As an added bonus for Warren County residents, the work is being done with $312,000 in KYTC funding, Moore said, an amount that he expects to be sufficient to cover the repairs without having to draw money from the county’s general fund.

We are happy to see this important bridge finally receiving much-needed work, and to see its historic qualities carefully maintained and preserved. Once complete, the restored and repaired bridge will provide vital infrastructure for contemporary travelers while protecting a noteworthy link to our region’s past.

“Our Opinion” pieces in the Bowling Green Daily News exclusively represent the majority opinion of the newspaper’s editorial board and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoints or beliefs of any other Daily News employees.

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