I arrived at the Jeffries Ford Bridge site a few hours after the fire had been put out, and the destruction that I saw with my own eyes to this historic bridge was unbelievable. For the life of me, I can not comprehend what or why some one could even think of this, (if it was arson). The test results are still out at this date.
I don't care where these structures are located, but if their destruction is caused by arson or vandalism, those responsible should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of are law.
This senseless act not only destroys a historic covered bridge for future generations to enjoy, it closes roads which effects the health and safety of all in that area, plus the money that could be spent elsewhere.
My professional years have taken me down several paths, but I can not think of one, more rewarding, than designing and being the person on site of the restoration/ rehabilitation of a covered bridge.
As more information becomes available I will let you know. I have been meeting with the County Commissioners and will be meeting with them again early next week on building a new covered bridge and the estimated construction cost.
For more on the loss of the Jeffries Ford Bridge see the Tribune-Star newspaper, of Terre Haute, IN, www.tribstar.com.
In addition to the Jeffries Ford Bridge, according to the Tribune-Star, an attempt had been made on the Jackson Bridge (14-61-28) in northern Parke County three weeks earlier.
Built in: 1915
Built by: Joseph A. Britton
Stream: Big Raccoon Creek
Size: 204 feet, plus an additional 9 feet at each end, 16 ft. wide, 13 ft. clearance
Type: 2-span Burr Arch
Location: 2.4 miles S/W of Bridgeton on CR-150 east in Raccoon Township, in Parke County, Indiana.
World Guide Number 14-61-03 (PC 09)