The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

August 23, 2011

Big day for little bridge

Shortest span officially opens after three years of construction

GENEVA —  The first vehicles to cross the nation’s shortest covered bridge tested the true strength of the 18-foot span Monday.

“We aren’t starting off light,” Geneva City Manager Jim Pearson said. “We are taking the heaviest vehicles in the city over the bridge to really show that it can handle anything that can travel on a highway.”

With the cutting of a red ribbon, the bridge, which has been under construction for three years, was opened.

“The bridge is complete,” Pearson said. “We wanted to get the street open even if it means opening it before the Ashtabula County Covered Bridge Festival.”

Pearson said the small toll booths — to be used as tourism information hubs — will be added to the bridge landscape before October.

“The toll booths are built and at the vocational school,” Pearson said. “We were happy to work with the school all the way through this project, from bridge work to toll booth construction.”

The West Liberty Street Bridge will be dedicated during the festival, held on Oct. 8 and 9.

Covered Bridge Festival public relations chairwoman Betty Morrison said the bridge puts Ashtabula County on the map, times two.

“Now our county is home to both the longest and the shortest covered bridges in the nation,” she said. “That is quite a feather in our cap.”

Morrison said she is happy to see the Geneva fire truck roll over the short bridge, but she has bigger loads for the little structure.

“I just can’t wait to see the tour buses go through it. The buses will look like hot dogs in a bun,” she said.

“I think the people who live on the west side of town will really appreciate the bridge being open,” Pearson said.

Built in partnership with the Ashtabula County Joint Vocational School carpentry and construction classes, Pearson said the construction of the shortest bridge was a journey.

“This was a real journey from start to finish,” he said. “We learned a lot in the last few years as we worked on the bridge, and now it will serve our community for generations.”

 

1
Text Only
Local News
Canoe Race and Ashtabula Easter Events
Good Friday Cross Walks and Easter Egg Hunts
Spring Comes Alive
Ashtabula Spring Cleaning
The Taping of the Teacher: A sticky Sitation
Saturday Fun in Ashtabula County March 22, 2014
American Red Cross Ashtabula County Heroes Breakfast
Rotary Club Dodge Ball Tournament
18th Annual Polar Bear Plunge at Geneva State Park
End of year weather extremes
Christmas 2013
Harpersfield Barn Fire
Route 11 Rescue Plymouth Township
Ashtabula Fire
House Ads
AP Video
NDN Video
BASE Jumpers Set World Record Raw: Obama Plays Soccer With Japanese Robot Screaming 2-year-old gets psyched at Penguins game Beyonce on Her Biggest Influence Michael Strahan's First Day on "GMA" Clerk catches on fire after man throws Molotov Cocktail into Brooklyn store Amazon's Deal With HBO Leapfrogs Streaming Rivals Stephen Colbert Tells David Letterman His Plan for 'Late Show' Georgetown police officer filmed tripping students Viral: It's Not Pitbull - It's Amy Poehler! Recycling Highlights for Earth Day Lupita Nyong'o Named People's 'Most Beautiful' Peeps Launched into Outer Space NYPD's Twitter Request For Photos Backfires New HBO Go Commercials Capture Awkward Family TV Watching Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Rise of the Milkbots Jenna Dewan-Tatum Strips Down TRENDING: Brian Williams Raps 'Gin and Juice' on ‘Tonight Show’ Middle School heroes rescue students from burning bus