Historic covered bridge reopens after collapse
Clermont County's only remaining covered bridge is once again open to traffic. The Stonelick-Williams Corner Covered Bridge reopened Wednesday with a ribbon cutting.
The bridge was built in 1878. Restoration work began in 2013 but was delayed when the entire structure collapsed into the creek below in February, 2014.
Janet Oligee has lived in the area all her life and describes the reopening in one word: "marvelous."
When the bridge collapsed, she says she thought, "oh my goodness, they've got to rebuild it. They've just got to. It's part of Clermont's history. It's the only covered bridge left. So much of our history is being torn down these days that we have to save as much of it as we can."
Three Model T Fords were the first cars to drive across the newly rebuilt bridge.
Walter McQuitty lives just down the road from the bridge. He's a carpenter and occasionally helped the crews working on the bridge.
"This old bridge has been here a long time," McQuitty says. "It's hard to see it not here. It's always been here on this road. A regular bridge wouldn't look right."
Clermont county engineer Patrick Manger says 57 percent of the timber from the original bridge was salvaged and used in the reconstruction. The county used state and federal grants to pay for the $975,000 project.