The Cedar Ford Covered Bridge, originally constructed in Shelby County by the Kennedy Brothers in 1885, has been rebuilt on North Maple Grove Road near the intersection of Delap Road in Monroe County. (Rich Janzaruk / Herald-Times)
The Cedar Ford Covered Bridge, originally constructed in Shelby County by the Kennedy Brothers in 1885, has been rebuilt on North Maple Grove Road near the intersection of Delap Road in Monroe County. (Rich Janzaruk / Herald-Times)
Monroe County is once again home to a covered bridge — after being without one for more than four decades.

Contractors completed work on the Cedar Ford Covered Bridge a few weeks ago. The bridge spans Beanblossom Creek in Washington Township and connects North and Old Maple Grove roads in the area.

Officials and the public gathered at the bridge on Sunday to celebrate the return of a covered bridge to Monroe County. Monroe County Commissioner Julie Thomas said while the community was once home to several covered bridges, they were lost over time.

“This is a great day,” Thomas said as she stood in front of the Cedar Ford Covered Bridge.

Thomas said it has been 134 years since the original Cedar Ford bridge was built by the Kennedy Brothers in 1885. Originally built in Shelby County over the Little Blue River, the Cedar Ford Bridge is a 127-foot long Burr Arch truss.

Thomas said the bridge remained in place there for nine decades before it was dismantled and stored. Jim Barker, a Historical Bridge Specialist with VS Engineering, said a member of the Indiana Covered Bridge Society pointed out to him that the disassembled Cedar Ford Bridge had been had been stored poorly and as a result, the pieces had started to break down.

“In short, it was heading for the trash heap,” Barker said.
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