Residents used to the clickety-clack of vehicles crossing the one-lane wooden bridge at the end of Fifth Street will have to used to a new sound. The sound of silence.
The bridge, which was closed last July due to a train derailment, reopened Tuesday. The $1.4 million project provides a new two lane, three span continuous composite steel beam bridge with reinforced concrete deck. The new bridge replaces a one lane, three span Truss bridge with a wooden deck that was originally built in 1904.
City Engineer Mark Hess said the city and CSX, which maintained the bridge, were already looking at replacing the structure before the train derailment.
"At the time, we were looking at removing, raising or building a whole new bridge," Hess said. "City officials believe the bridge is necessary for traffic flow and for our fire department response time."
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and CSX funds were used for the replacement of the bridge, Hess said. No local tax money was used in the project, he said.
Under the agreement with CSX, with the completion of the project, the city will become responsible for the maintenance of the bridge. The railroad previously was responsible for the bridge.
Hess estimates that between 1,200 and 1,500 cars will travel across the bridge each day.