No visible progress on preserving covered bridges

Resident laments condition of covered bridges Engineer reports on development of plans for repair

“It has been a year since the covered
bridges were closed and I was just wondering

how the repairs are coming along.
I haven’t heard or read anything in the
paper about them. I know they were supposed

to start on Swann this spring, then
Horton Mill was next on the agenda with
Easley being the last to get attention. I
have made many requests for someone to
come out and at least stabilize Easley, as
it’s leaning worse than it was last year. It
has damage in the roof from tree limbs
that have fallen and broken a couple of
the rafters and of course the underneath
continues to decay.

“I just don’t want these wonderful historic

landmarks to be forgotten and I can’t
help but feel they have been. We continue
to get many tourists and they all say what
a shame it is to see the condition that these
wonderful old structures are in. If I could
repair them myself I would, but as you
know that’s impossible. The one thing I can
do is to continue to remind you and all
involved of the importance of these bridges
to Blount County. We will have, yet another

year, the Covered Bridge Festival but
missing the true beauty of these bridges, as
they will still be bearing their BRIDGE
CLOSED signs and orange boards.”

‘”In response to your request, the following

information is provided in regards to
the development of plans for the repairs to
Blount County’s three covered bridges.

“1. On April 21, 2010 plans were submitted

to the Alabama Department of
Transportation (ALDOT). These plans
were reviewed by personnel in the ALDOT
Third Division Office in Birmingham as
well as by personnel in the Bridge Bureau
of ALDOT in Montgomery.

“2. A meeting was held on June 22, 2010
with personnel in the ALDOT Third
Division Office to review comments for
changes and/or corrections to the plans.

“3. Since the meeting on June 22, we
have received various contract documents
and special provisions that will need to be
incorporated into the bid packets. There
may be some special provisions, such as
one for the fire proofing of the lumber that
will need to be approved by the ALDOT
Construction Bureau in Montgomery.

“4. Once the plans are resubmitted to
ALDOT and are approved, the Commission

will be authorized to request bids for
the repair work.”