Historic covered bridges in Gibson Co. to get renovated

Vandalized cover bridges in Gibson Co. get renovated

GIBSON CO., Ind. (WFIE) - Planning is underway to repair two historic covered bridges in Gibson County.

After years of wear and tear and vandalism, county officials say this is long overdue.

"I live here in Owensville, but I grew up right next to the bridge," said Margo English, a resident of Gibson County.

On a winding dirt road near the Gibson-Posey County line off Highway 165, people will find Red Bridge along Bayou Creek.

“You see a lot of people on Facebook taking senior photographs at them,” said Chuck Lewis, the superintendent of Gibson County Highway Department.

The Red Bridge is one that folks like Margo English say is a landmark in Gibson County.

“It means a lot, it’s just a lot of history,” English said. “One of my great grandfather’s help built it."

Red Bridge and a second one in the county have been around since the 1800s. They’ve aged, and need some TLC, but that’s not the only problem.

"Unfortunately some people that go and visit these things, don't think that it's just nice to look, they have to paint inappropriate graffiti on them or actually do physical damage to the structure," said Lewis.

“It’s gotten a lot worse, it’s obscene, it’s racist," English said. “And not only the graffiti but the damage to the bridge is very disturbing.”

By the end of March, that will change when the highway department cleans up these bridges and paints over the graffiti. The highway department is also adding video surveillance equipment to discourage vandalism.

“I hope the bridge is there another couple hundred years,” English told 14 News.

While the renovations are happening, the bridges will still be open, so people can walk through and stop to snap a photo.

“Things like that are important to our heritage,” English said.

The Gibson County Highway Department says they plan on putting a fresh coat of paint on the exterior of the bridges this summer. They say this project is being funded by donations through Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Indiana.

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