Medora Town Council looks to get footbridge project going



Now that Medora officials have decided to redo a footbridge in town, the next step is to hire someone to do the work.

The wooden bridge that runs parallel to Main Street behind the school has been closed to pedestrians for a while. Wooden boards block the entrance on both ends so people don’t walk on the swaying structure, but those recently had to be reapplied because someone had knocked them off.

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During a recent meeting, members of the Medora Town Council agreed it would be best to tear out the bridge and rebuild it with a concrete floor. That way, it would last longer.

“If you put wood in, that’s going to have to take the chance of replacing it. Concrete, you probably never would,” council President Bob Thompson said.

“I think if we could do concrete flooring that would probably be the best,” Councilwoman Sharon Bowers said.

“You need to get some kind of flooring. You’ve got a heck of a liability sitting there,” said Steve Ingle, the town’s street and water superintendent.

Thompson said the bridge is about 23 feet long, and the 3-foot concrete ramps on each end need to be fixed, too. He said he would contact a couple of contractors to submit quotes for the work.

During a meeting in March, Bowers said local artist Nick Walden was drawing up plans to create a Medora Covered Bridge replica to replace the footbridge.

“I think as a replica, it probably should be wood myself because they tore the tin off (of the covered bridge) because it didn’t look right,” Thompson said. “We’ll just have to see what the pricings are on it, how much they are. No matter how it goes, we’re going to have to build some kind of rafter on it. The railings and all of that stuff are going to be a little extra added money, but I think we’re going to have to buy that treated.”

Bowers said she attended a recent meeting at the school and heard Principal Austin Skutnik express interest in having students help with projects in the community. Bowers said the footbridge came to mind.

“That might give them some interest in helping to maintain it,” she said. “I was just trying to think of some ways that maybe around town that kids could get involved in doing stuff to make the town look better, and with their involvement, maybe that would help them take more pride in the community and keep the mischief down a little bit.”

Another idea is for the students to plant flowers in pots and place them around town.

School officials just said donations would have to be sought for any materials needed for projects.

“I don’t have any issues with kids trying to help in the community,” Thompson said.

“It will go a long way to make it look better,” Councilman Jim Davers said.

Also during the recent meeting, Thompson said he received a bid from Mitchell and Stark Construction Co. Inc. of Medora to fix a bridge on First Street near the town park. The $3,340 bid includes $1,360 for 80 tons of riprap, $290 for 20 tons of stone and $1,690 for equipment, fuel and labor.

Thompson said the work would prevent the bridge from washing out. He said he recently saw people walking on top of the guardrail, and the town would be liable if someone got hurt.

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