TEEGARDEN COVERED BRIDGE Workers complete span restoration
Still to be completed is installation of a pathway from the bridge to another nearby tourist attraction.
By NORMAN LEIGH
VINDICATOR SALEM BUREAU
SALEM -- Decades of rot and abuse from vandals that afflicted a historical covered bridge have been erased with the completion of a renovation project.
Crews recently finished their work on the 66-foot-long Teegarden Centennial Covered Bridge along Eagleton Road in Salem Township, Columbiana County Engineer Bert Dawson said.
Months ago, workers dismantled the 1876 bridge and rebuilt its oaken timbers in a shop in Alliance.
They returned the bridge's components to the site in November and reassembled the structure, which spans Little Beaver Creek.
Today, the bridge appears much as it must have looked a century ago. It is no longer used for vehicle traffic, but it is open to pedestrians.
Little of the original structure is incorporated in the rebuilt bridge, Dawson noted.
All but three of the timbers fashioned when the bridge was first built had rotted and couldn't be reused.
Wanted it to last
"We wanted to keep as much as we could. But we also wanted it to be right and to last another 100 years," Dawson said.
The darkened original timbers used in the rebuild contrast sharply with the fresh yellow color of the new timbers.
Dawson praised the contractor, W.M. Brode Co. of Newcomerstown, for ensuring that well-seasoned white oak was used in the restoration. The wood has a reputation for strength and longevity.
Although the bridge is done, workers will still be employed at the site.
The $295,000 restoration includes plans to install a nearly 200-yard-long walking and hiking path leading from the bridge to the nearby Greenway Trail.
Greenway is a 12-mile-long hiking and bicycling trail that stretches between Lisbon and Leetonia.
The blacktop path will allow people to journey between the bridge and the trail without walking on the road, as they do now.
The roadside path also will serve those who park in a lot near the bridge and walk or cycle to the Greenway Trail.
The pathway probably will be installed in the spring, Dawson said.
"It's a great project," he said of the bridge restoration. "It will bring tourist dollars into the county. It's a real asset."
The Teegarden Centennial Covered Bridge is one of the county's five historical covered bridges.
It's restoration was funded with about $50,000 in county road and bridge money and from state and federal grants.