The Dunbar Covered Bridge (Bridge 105) and Bridge 104 on Dunbar Road and the Houck Iron Bridge (Bridge 146) on County Road 25 East have all received funding to be replaced. All three bridges cross Big Walnut Creek.
Dunbar Covered Bridge will see the most significant change. The current bridge will remain in placed, to be preserved as an historic covered bridge.
The new bridge will be a quarter mile upstream, where the road currently approaches the creek before turning west. The new road will continue across the creek on the new bridge before veering back to the west along the north bank of Big Walnut. It will rejoin the current road northwest of the covered bridge.
The $354,480 received from INDOT will all go toward the new bridge. A separate project will be geared toward preserving the covered bridge. County Highway Co-Supervisor Jim Smith said the county will be applying for funds through the National Historic Covered Bridge Preservation Program for that project.
"We won't use any of this money on 105 to rehab the bridge. It will be for a brand new bridge," Smith said.
Bridge 104 is the most straightforward of the three projects, as the $541,480 from INDOT will go toward the replacement of the current bridge, which will be destroyed.
The Houck Iron Bridge project may be the most complicated of the three. The iron structure is considered historic, but the county is choosing to replace it. By federal law, it cannot be destroyed, but must be disassembled piece-by-piece and either stored or given to an organization to preserve.
If the county chose to store the pieces of the bridge, it would have to do so for 25 years. Instead, the disassembled bridge will be hauled to Delphi and donated to the Wabash and Erie Canal Association, which has expressed interest in the structure, but has no money to buy it.
The $673,920 will be used for the replacement of the current bridge. Smith said this project is ready to move forward and goes to bid July 11.
All three projects are targeted for 2014 construction.
In May, an INDOT review panel at Crawfordsville heard nine LPA presentations. The Crawfordsville District was allocated $4.8 million.
A project selections committee in Indianapolis, composed of seven members from across the state, confirmed the Crawfordsville District's recommendations.
Funding for the LPA Local Bridge Program is provided by the Federal Highway Administration and administered by INDOT. All award amounts are contingent upon funding availability through Congressional Appropriations. Federal dollars provide 80 percent of the approved project cost. Local communities must fund the remaining 20 percent.