Medora Town Council working with county, local artist to redo footbridge


Two wooden boards cross the entrance on each end of a footbridge that goes over a creek behind the Medora Community Schools building.

They are in place to keep people from walking on the bridge, which has swaying boards that make it unsafe for pedestrians. The bridge runs parallel to Main Street.

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The sidewalk leading up to the bridge on both sides isn’t even, either.

Medora officials decided to block the bridge temporarily until it can be rebuilt.

“We realized that it was becoming quite unstable, so when it was checked on further, we realized then that it needed to be closed off and not used until we could tear it out and redo it,” Medora Town Councilwoman Sharon Bowers said.

Jackson County Highway Superintendent Jerry Ault has offered to reinforce the beams on the bridge, while local artist Nick Walden is drawing up plans to create a Medora Covered Bridge replica for that space.

That would pay homage to the town’s most popular tourist attraction, which is the country’s longest historic covered bridge at 430.4 feet. It was built by Joseph J. Daniels in 1875, closed to motorists in 1973 and restored in 2011. Between 15,000 and 20,000 visitors from around the globe visit the bridge along State Road 235 each year.

“Nick came up with the idea and tossed it around and talked to people about it, and I thought it was an awesome idea to advertise our bridge a little more right there next to the school,” Bowers said of constructing a covered bridge replica.

Walden has attended a few council meetings to discuss the project, Bowers said.

“We haven’t got that underway yet, but that’s just another project that we have in the coming months,” Bowers said. “We’re really excited about all of the new improvements that are coming up. It just takes time to get through all of the red tape and get the ball rolling on them.”

The other improvements include replacing a wooden bridge on Third Street and tearing out the basketball court at the park to put in a new surface.

The county also will help with that bridge project, and the town received grants to redo the basketball court.