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Historic Grange City Covered Bridge in danger of collapse

"The old bridge down there was my kid's playhouse, I mean that's where they played when they were growing up, it just breaks my heart," says Barber.
"The old bridge down there was my kid's playhouse, I mean that's where they played when they were growing up, it just breaks my heart," says Barber.(WKYT)
Published: May. 26, 2020 at 5:20 PM EDT
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Experts say covered bridges are historic, as many were built in the 1800s.

There are only twelve left in Kentucky. One of these bridges, Grange City Covered Bridge, is in bad condition.

The bridge has been deteriorating for years, according to Paul Barber who has lived by the bridge for 45 years.

"The old bridge down there was my kid's playhouse, I mean that's where they played when they were growing up, it just breaks my heart that our politicians have let this go this long," says Barber. "It tears me up to see it in that shape when it should have been repaired, it should have been the first one."

"A community treasure, it's an important part of Kentucky's transportation history," says Allen Blair, spokesman for Kentucky Department of Highways.

Blair says fixing the hundred-and-fifty-year-old bridge has been on the agenda for a while. He shares several covered bridges have already been restored.

Now, Grange City Covered Bridge is just one of three covered bridges left in Fleming County, and 12 left in the entire state of Kentucky. It has been listed on the national register of historic places.

"Obviously a complex issue to figure out how to restore them, how to restore them historically and properly, you know funding issues and other matters come up," Blair says.

Blair says after the flooding last week the condition of the bridge got significantly worse.

There is now a barricade and caution tape to keep any pedestrians from being able to walk through. Blair says the goal is to take action to make the bridge safe in the short term but to hopefully save it in the long-term.

Barber warns if action isn't taken soon, history is going to be wasted.

"If they don't do something within the next week to 10 days at the most, it's going to be passed fixing," says Barber

Transportation Secretary Jim Gray was on the bridge site Tuesday with engineers and experts to discuss the situation. They are still weighing several options before moving forward.

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