Owensville, Ohio, August 5, 2009 - The Clermont County Engineer's Office held an open house looking for public comment on plans to rehabilitate the Perintown/Stonelick covered bridge on Stonelick-Williams Corner Road. Fifty citizens filled the meeting room.
The two chief concerns were the potential for increased truck traffic in a quiet neighborhood and preserving the historic integrity of the bridge.
County Engineer Patrick Manger said the preferred plan would be a $1.1-million rehabilitation that would preserve the appearance of the bridge and add 50 years to its life. Grants from the federal National Historic Covered Bridge Preservation Program and from the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments would pay for the project.
The work, which could begin in early 2011, would include the removal and replacement of the roof and siding, add additional structural support, deck replacement and a new lighting system with traffic signals. The project could take four to six months increasing the weight limit on the bridge from three tons to up to 40 tons.
Community concerns include increased traffic and accidents, preservation of the rural neighborhood, preserving the historic nature of the bridge and harming its status on the National Register of Historic Places.
A member of the community suggested the bridge be strengthened to handle 12 tons, but the limit kept at 3 tons. "I don't think the bridge has to be altered. Strengthen it without altering it."
Manger said no final decision has been made and promised to take the opinions of the community into account. Those who attended the open house were given comment sheets to fill out and return to the engineer's office by Aug. 19. He said another public meeting would be scheduled, probably in September, to address the community concerns.
The 140-foot Perintown/Stonelick Bridge was built in 1878 to cross Stonelick Creek in one span using the Howe truss.
For the story, go to: http://communitypress.cincinnati.com/article/20090807/NEWS/908070309.
[Our thanks to Tom Keating for finding this story - Ed.]