The Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) met with Jackson County officials, contractor representatives and design engineers on Wednesday at the INDOT Seymour District facility to discuss a $1 million effort to preserve the Shieldstown covered bridge.
INDOT says the 355-foot-long Burr Arch wooden structure, built by J.J. Daniels in 1876, carried vehicular traffic across the east fork of White River until 1980.
Today, it remains a tourist attraction at its scenic location adjacent to County Road 200 North, less than one mile north of U.S. Highway 50, in Hamilton Township and five miles west of Seymour.
Jackson County is the sponsor for this project and will pay 20 percent of the costs. The Federal Highway Administration will fund 80 percent.
INDOT says that Duncan Robertson Inc. is the prime contractor for this refurbishment project, which carries a total price tag of $1,036,287. The contractor is charged with maintaining historical integrity of the bridge while replacing board-for-board rotten and split timbers. Officials say that white oak will be used in the floor beams, bracing, arches, chords and posts. Yellow pine is to be used in supports and rafters. Siding and battens call for yellow poplar, while western red cedar is specified for portal siding.
Duncan Robertson will also replace the roof and repair piers and abutments. A visitors’ parking lot is going to be constructed near the north end of the covered bridge.
Operations are scheduled to begin after April 1. The contract completion date is July 31, 2016.