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Work will begin soon to fix an historic bridge that collapsed on Christmas Day in Paoli.  The bridge was constructed in the 1800s.

The one-lane iron bridge over Lick Creek near downtown Paoli collapsed after a semi truck got stuck while trying to cross.

Officials say the driver, Mary Lambright, was carrying six times the posted limit.

paoli-bridgeThe closure of the bridge has been an inconvenience for Paoli residents who must use an alternate route to get into town.

Work to rehab the bridge should start in a few months. It has taken months to get quotes and deal with the trucking company’s insurance.

“Basically, what they’re planning to do is pick the bridge up off the stream, set it in the street just south of where it’s placed, and rebuild it right there on the street, and then set it back on the foundation,” said Don Brewer, President of the Orange County Commissioners.

Brewer expects it will cost around $700,000 instead of the original quote of over $1 million.

“If that’s the case, we’re fairly certain the insurance company will take up the full tab so the taxpayers won’t be out any money at all,” Brewer said.

County leaders are also looking at adding height clearance bars before the bridge to deter large trucks from trying to cross it. Work should be finished in the spring.