Thursday, April 3, 2014
Stonelick Bridge Ride
Last Sunday I took a little ride out to the Stonelick Covered Bridge in Clermont County Ohio on the Buddy Psycho. This is a nice 20 mile loop ride from my home on back roads.
The bridge site is located off Stonelick-Williams Corner Road near Owensville. On February 11 of this year the bridge collapsed while under renovation. Luckily no one was hurt, but the bridge was a total loss. There are, however, plans for future restoration at some point.
Here is the bridge as I saw it last year when I discovered it on a car ride:
This was the last surviving covered bridge in Clermont County, built in 1878. Here is a brief history of the bridge from Wikepedia:
"The Stonelick Covered Bridge is located on Stonelick-Williams Corner Road in Clermont County, Ohio, crossing the Stonelick Creek. The one-lane covered bridge was built in 1878. It is 140 feet long and supported using a 12-panel Howe truss. The property was added to the National Register on September 10, 1974, being the last surviving covered bridge in Clermont County.
In 1983 a garbage truck broke through the floor. It also suffered some fire damage in 1991. A creek bank revetment project was undertaken in 1999 to prevent further erosion from undermining the bridge.
The bridge was permanently closed to all traffic in May 2010 after its floor and supporting structure was severely damaged by an overweight truck. Repair and rehabilitation, including improvements to raise the weight limit from 3 to 12 tons, was initially estimated to cost $1.2 million USD.
After funds and approval for the rehabilitation project were obtained, a request for bids was made in April 2013, with an updated engineer's estimate of work at $720,000. Construction work began in October 2013. A temporary steel falsework was constructed under the bridge to give additional structural support during the work and to provide work platforms, followed by the removal of all the siding. Additional work to be performed included the replacement of all siding and the roof, additional structural support, repointing and grouting of stonework, and addition of lighting and security systems.
On February 11, 2014 the upper shell of the bridge unexpectedly collapsed, falling off the deck and into the river bed, as repair work was being performed. All workers escaped without serious injury. After assessing the collapse, the County and the contractor have determined to continue the process of restoring the bridge. They now plan to completely disassemble the bridge, inspect each component to determine whether it needs to be replaced, and continue the restoration as originally planned, using as many original components as possible."
Last Sunday I took the 10 mile ride over to view the bridge, or what was left of it. This is the south entrance to the construction area:
This is the view from the side, looking northeast. As you can see all that remains are two steel rails spanning the river:
I turned around on this road and scooted less than a tenth of a mile over to the historic St. Philomena Catholic Church, the oldest Catholic church in Clermont County, built in 1839:
As I face the church, to my backside is the Stonelick Creek. This grated platform spanned the bridge and was closed to pedestrian traffic, but I couldn't resist a closer look:
A man had been standing in the middle of it earlier when I arrived, shooting photos of the churning Stonelick Creek. I passed on that photo op as I don't do heights!
Here is a view of the newer span that I came over to get to the covered bridge and church:
I left the area and headed back home. Along the way I took one of my favorite back roads and passed by this "free range" chicken farm. Or at least a farm with lots of chickens running loose and a few cow friends hanging out too:
I stopped to chat with her and she was a bit curious about my black scooter. Perhaps a relative?
Naw, probably not!
The Buddy performed flawlessly. It was comfortable to ride and easy to manage. I've added a basket to the back, zipped tied right on to the stock seat rail. This is temporary until I get a real rear rack.
I am concerned about visibility on this black scoot, awesome as it looks. I may add a hi viz yellow flag this weekend.