Historic bridges to be restored in Wyandot County

The Parker Bridge was built in 1873. (Jim Nelson/WNWO).

A pair of bridges in Wyandot County that have long served as a pathway to history will soon be restored.

"They're kind of a testament to craftsmanship that you don't see anymore," said Michael Kohl, the county engineer.

The historic Parker and Swartz covered bridges were built in 1873 and 1879, respectively. Save for a restoration project at the Parker bridge after a 1991 fire, they are essentially in their original form.

"You can't believe how many times somebody stops by my house, 'hey where's the covered bridge?' " says Steven Seitz, a county commissioner who lives near the Parker bridge. "We love having the bridge here and hate to see it deteriorating."

But that's what happens with time.

And so, county officials have been working on a face lift. A $1.2 million dollar plan has been approved to repair both bridges.

Kohl says that includes the bones of the structures, the siding, roofing and approaching roadways. He adds that 95 percent of the funding will come from grant money.

The Righter Company of Columbus will handle both projects.

"The people in the area are just tickled to death," said Seitz, adding that it was a no-brainer for he and his fellow commissioners. "It's a great project. I don't think anybody would be against a project like this."

"A lot of the affected individuals adjacent to the bridges are excited about it," Kohl added. "Honestly, it probably couldn't happen without them."

Construction is set to begin in mid-July.

Both bridges are on the National Registry of Historic Places.

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