SALEM In need of wood, company delays bridge restoration

The bridge now sits in pieces at a shop in Alliance.
SALEM -- An effort to restore a historical covered bridge is being delayed over difficulty in finding proper wood for the project.
"The issue is finding satisfactory material," Columbiana County Engineer Bert Dawson said Friday.
The company restoring the bridge needs good-quality white oak for the job and is having difficulty locating it, Dawson explained.
The project was to take about six months to complete, but it may take longer as a result of the delay, Dawson said.
The timbers needed for the project are generally purchased from specialty mills. It isn't the type of wood carried by a local lumberyard, Dawson said.
W.M. Brode Co. of Newcomerstown is handling restoration of the 66-foot-long structure known as the Teegarden Centennial Covered Bridge.
The span, one of the county's last covered bridges, is located along Eagleton Road in Salem Township.
Work on restoring the 1876 structure began this spring when crews dismantled the bridge and hauled it to a shop in Alliance.
Covered bridges are made up of a collection of timbers bound together by various joints and wooden pins, which enables them to be taken apart and reassembled like giant puzzles.
Once all the unusable timbers have been rebuilt, the company will reassemble at least part of the bridge in the shop to ensure proper fit, Dawson said.
After that, it will be disassembled and carted back to its location along Eagleton Road to be reassembled.
Besides some new timbers, the bridge also is expected to get new planking. Crews also are repairing the stone abutments on which the bridge sits.
The bridge crosses the Middle Fork of Little Beaver Creek. It has not been used by vehicles since 1992, when it was replaced by a modern bridge that sits nearby.
W.M. Brode is being paid about $295,000 for the job.
The project is being paid for with about $50,000 in county road and bridge fund money and from federal and state grants.
The bridge takes its name from Teegarden, the community that once thrived near its location, and from the fact that it was constructed in 1876, the centennial anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

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