FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) – Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has approved $75,000 to temporarily support and stabilize a 182-year-old covered bridge in Mason County.
The Dover Covered Bridge, whose history dates back to 1835, was damaged by a flash flood on Lees Creek in late July. It washed away 12,000-pound steel support beams from under the bridge and shifted its truss off the foundation and peeled away blacktop on the road at either end.
Kentucky Department of Highways engineers, working with city, county and other state officials, began seeking funds to stabilize the bridge and protect it from further damage of possible collapse, until a complete repair project can be developed.
The Buffalo Trace Wooden Bridge Authority, in partnership with the state, has advertised for a consultant to provide options to best stabilize the structure, cost estimates and technical assistance.
Following the chosen consultant’s recommendation, the now-approved $75,000 in Rural Secondary Road Aid emergency funds will be used for stabilization work – which will be done as soon as possible.
The Dover Covered Bridge, also known as Lee's Creek Covered Bridge, was built in 1835 when the 61-foot structure opened as a toll bridge. Renovated by the Bower Bridge Company in 1926, then the Kentucky Highway Department 40 years later, it remained largely the same until the late 1980s when the steel support beams were added underneath. It was bypassed in 2005 and is now part of KY 3113 just south of KY 8 near the Ohio River at Dover.
Although open to traffic before the July storm damage, the covered bridge will remain closed to all vehicles, pedestrians and bicycle traffic until further notice due to safety concerns.