CLR Construction of Bloomington is the prime contractor for this $1,581,763 Local Public Agency (LPA) project sponsored by Monroe County. President of CLR Inc. Chad Reitmeyer, says the original bridge cost $2,600, this one $1.6 million. Monroe County officials were able to secure federal funds from the Federal Highway Administration’s National Historic Covered Bridge Preservation Program. Those funds combined with local money preserved and reconstructed the bridge.
The project includes realignment of approximately 1400 feet of roadway. It is a single-span structure measuring nearly 108 feet in length with 15½ feet of clear roadway side-to-side. The construction site is approximately two miles west of State Road 37 and two miles north of S.R. 46. The bridge spans Beanblossom Creek in Washington Township in Monroe County and connects North and Old Maple Groves roads. It stands about 200 feet east of where the 125-foot Smith Truss covered bridge built in 1871.
The original bridge which was built by the Kennedy Brothers in 1885. That name was later changed to Milikan Bridge, also known as Williams Bridge. On June 29, 1976, the bridge was destroyed by arson and never rebuilt. Jim Barker, PE – VS Historic Bridge Specialist – located the dismantled 127-foot Burr Arch truss bridge that once spanned the Little Blue River in Shelby County, and decided to buy the remnants to use in the new construction.
VS was specifically chosen as a design contractor on this project due to our experience for restoring historical structures. It is through the passion and expertise of Jim Barker that Monroe County will continue to enjoy this beautiful bridge for many years to come.