Yellow Creek bids farewell to another covered wooden bridge

October 23, 2018 | 3:03 am

Updated October 24, 2018 | 6:44 am

The covered bridge at Yellow Creek Park has been replaced with a concrete bridge, which opened earlier this month. | Photo by Ashley Sorce

The covered bridge at Yellow Creek Park has been an iconic piece of the Daviess County landscape for more than 30 years. It has more than likely been the backdrop to a fair number of family photos across the county and had generations of names written on its boards. But its location and age forced Daviess County Parks Department to close the structure in February. Earlier this month a new pedestrian bridge opened, but some would say it lacks the same nostalgia of the covered bridge that once stood in its place.

According to Daviess County Parks Director Ross Leigh, Yellow Creek Park’s 52.5-acre Nature Center is bisected by Yellow Creek, which is responsible for drainage in East Daviess County and eventually flows into the Ohio River.

“Regularly, due to high water levels on the Ohio River, the creek will overflow its boundaries and backwater from the river will flood the low lying areas of the park including the Nature Center where the old wooden covered pedestrian bridge was located,” Leigh said.

Over time, the wooden bridge has been significantly damaged by high flood waters and flowing water pressures against the structure, Leigh said. After the flood waters receded in early 2018, the iconic covered bridge was deemed unsafe.

Leigh said the cost for the new concrete bridge structure and removal of the old wooden bridge was $187,745, an expense approved by Daviess County Fiscal Court earlier this year.

Yellow Creek Park was originally home to two covered wooden pedestrian bridges, which both crossed Yellow Creek in the Nature Center. The other, which was on the south end of the park adjacent to Reid Road, was replaced two years ago with a concrete structure.

“The two new bridges allow not only for pedestrians to complete the entire Nature Center loop trail, but now allows for heavy maintenance equipment used by park staff to gain access to county-owned property on the west side of Yellow Creek for the first time without having to drive out onto Reid Road and back into the park for any maintenance issues,” Leigh said.

None of the covered pedestrian bridge, which was removed by crane, was able to be saved or preserved, Leigh said. With the removal of the second covered bridge at Yellow Creek, only one wooden covered pedestrian bridge remains in the parks of Daviess County, which spans Clear Creek along the elevated wooden trails at Panther Creek Park.

October 23, 2018 | 3:03 am

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