Historic covered bridge re-opens
STONELICK TOWNSHIP, Ohio (Jeff Hirsh) -- The last of its kind is back in business for people to use. A covered bridge was re-opened Wednesday afternoon, April 15, after a lengthy fix-up. Way back when, before horseless carriages, just horse carriages; the Stonelick-Williams Corner covered bridge was part of Clermont County. But the 1878 vintage bridge, the last of 25 in Clermont, was closed in 2010 after a heavy truck tried going over it. Repairs began but in 2014 the unfinished structure collapsed into Stonelick Creek. Nearly $1 million later state and federal funding plus money from the National Historic Bridge Preservation Program saved the bridge. According to the Clermont County engineer's office, legend has it that covered bridges were covered to prevent horses from being scared. It made the horses comfortable, they felt they were in a barn and they weren't worried about being up elevated over water. Reality is the wooden supports lasted longer when protected by the cover from the elements. A trio of Model-T Fords dating back to World War I were the first vehicles to cross the 140 foot span. The same kind of cars which were once regular visitors. And now, the single-lane bridge is back, good as new, even better.A bridge not only across a creek but a bridge to the past.The covered bridge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. More than 50 percent of the original timbers were preserved and used in the fix-up.