Bridge collapses after having been closed for several years

By Gary Scott on July 14, 2014 at 1:02pm

Before and after pictures of the bridge collapse provided by Morgan County Highway Dept. Engineer Matt Coultas. Profane language from graffiti is blurred out on the "after" picture.

A bridge in Morgan County apparently collapsed earlier this month.

The bridge that goes over the section of Clark Road that intersects with Indian Creek has been closed for over three years and collapsed over the Fourth of July weekend, according to Morgan County Highway Department Engineer Matt Coultas.

Clark Road is in northern Morgan County near Poor Farm Road.

“Must have been a lot of debris in Indian Creek there, I think a large tree- and I inspected that bridge about a month ago- had taken out five out of seven wood piles underneath one of the piers,” Coultas says. “So, it was inevitable it was going to come down. There were only two piles standing there in the first part of June.”

There are plans to replace the bridge, but the county currently lacks township bridge road funding from the state, according to Coultas.

“We just expended some of those moneys on the Sandusky Road structure a few years ago, and that left us at a zero balance, so we’re just trying to recoup a few annual allotments to where we have enough funding to replace that structure,” he says.

Coultas estimates the cost to fix the bridge is $500-thousand, but he says that’s based on two-and-a-half-year-old estimates. He says the current price tag could be even higher.

The average traffic count for the Clark Road bridge was between 25 to 50 cars a day.