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Nation's Longest Covered Bridge to be Dedicated

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Ashtabula County, OH, August 21, 2008 - Ashtabula County's newest covered bridge, and the nation's longest, will be dedicated 2:30 p.m. August 26.

The bridge will be officially named at the ceremony. World Guide number 35-04-64 has already been assigned. The new bridge is 613 feet long and cost $8 million.

The bridge was designed by John Smolen, who was county engineer when the idea of bridging the Ashtabula River Gulf with a wooden structure was first conceived nearly a decade ago.

General contractor for the bridge is Union Industrial Contractors (UIC), which started work on it two years ago.

The usual ribbon cutting ceremony will be replaced by a log sawing, wherein officials will take turns with an old fashion cross-cut saw. The bridge will then be opened to pedestrian traffic, but closed to vehicular traffic pending road paving and the installation of guard rails.

[This item based on a Star Beacon; Ashtabula report forwarded by Tom Keating - Ed.]

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