VINCENNES, IND. (WTHI) - A southern Indiana county's closing of a bridge, may just be the beginning of a cutback in road and bridge work.
The Knox County Commissioners shut down a bridge on Old 41 south of Vincennes with no plans to re-open it.
The county claims that with its money situation more bridges and roads could be facing closings or changes in the future.
The bridge on Old 41 south of Vincennes was built in 1945, but it has seen its last traffic.
Mounds of sand and barricades cover it.
Officials have known about its problems for years.
The old bridge had been falling apart from the bottom up and finally had to be closed.
"It wasn't something we did on the spur of the moment," said Knox County Commissioner Don Halter. "It was well thought out. I'm sorry it's going to inconvenience some people, but it's something we're going to have to do. We simply don't have the funds to replace and repair bridges."
Knox County estimates it would cost $350,000 to fix the bridge.
Money the county really doesn't have and officials say that given their financial situation, more closures could be coming in the future.
County officials say rising prices for materials, tax caps, and dwindling road revenues have now left them with few options when it comes to keeping roads and bridges repaired and replaced.
"Some of the roads that we've been able to pave over the past few years that we're now going to just have to chip and seal or go back to gravel," said Halter. "We simply do not have the money in Knox County to do all the repairs that we need."
A combination that may well mean the county will have to spend more on road closed signs because it can't afford to keep everything open.
The closure impacts about 3 homes and another 3 businesses.
Officials say they all will be within one mile of access to US 41 to travel to the north or south around the shutdown bridge.
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