VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) – Work is underway to restore a historic covered bridge in Vigo County.
The Irishman’s Bridge was built in 1845. It was moved to its current spot in Fowler Park several decades ago. The covered bridge is nestled under the trees in the corner of a lake connecting the park to Pioneer Village.
Decades of dirt and moisture has caused the bridge floor and support structure to decay. Now it’s dangerously close to falling into the water below.
Adam Grossman is the Vigo County Parks Superintendent. It’s under his leadership the landmark is being restored. He’s enlisted an experienced contractor and volunteers to work on the $100,000 project. He says he hopes to come in under budget.
Square and Level Construction owner Dave Collom says, "You want to keep as much of it as you can but you've got to fix the structure and make it safe so it's going to last another 150 years."
The Irishman’s Bridge is not just a part of Vigo County history. Grossman is one of many to make personal memories in its shadow.
"I proposed to my wife out here. Our kids have all taken pictures out here next to the bridge so definitely have a lot of memories."
Legend has it, a baby was born on the bridge in the 1800s. Others, in more recent history, have memories of catching their first fish off the bridge. It's a beautiful space to reflect on fond moments and Grossman hopes to ensure many more memories are made there.
"It'll look wonderful. It'll be awesome to see people walk across the bridge and into the Pioneer Village and back in use again."
The bridge is currently closed because it is not safe to walk on and construction has already started. People are warned to stay away until the project is complete and safe for visitors again.