New two-lane Morgan Chapel bridge complete

Published 5:42 pm Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Public comments led the DOT to pick a design that kept the existing trusses from the one-lane bridge and incorporated the look of an architectural rock face.

Several public hearings over the past few years drew many nearby Hunting Country residents who initially did not want the bridge to be replaced. Originally, residents expressed interest in the bridge being replaced with a one-lane covered bridge or a wooden truss bridge, but the DOT ruled that the bridge could not be replaced with a one-lane bridge. A covered bridge, according to DOT officials at the time, would create issues including maintenance and vandalism as well as a fire hazard and clearing issues.

The DOT heard from about 100 residents during the design phase and eventually gave residents three design choices. Residents chose the DOT&squo;s second design choice, which includes a false truss design that incorporates the trusses from the old bridge. The old trusses were shipped out to be sandblasted and repainted. A concrete form was poured for the bridge walls and then stained to look like rocks. The repainted trusses were then installed on the new bridge.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The bridge was originally planned by the state to be replaced in 2007, but the construction was delayed because of state budget cuts.

The bridge replacement was budgeted at $980,000.