NORTHUP — The people of Northup had a day of celebration recently when the new $1.45-million Lincoln Pike (Northup) Bridge was opened across Raccoon Creek on November 15, 2013, making the small community whole again.
It was immediately evident at the afternoon ribbon-cutting that those involved with the unique bridge project were more than pleased with the process and outcome — they were elated.
Gallia County Engineer Brett Boothe, P.E., P.S. led the festivities by noting the unique features of the bridge.
“The Warren Camelback Through Truss design was built by the U.S. Bridge Company,” said Boothe. “The bridge is the first ever design built bridge in Gallia County, the longest single span bridge in Gallia County and the second longest bridge on a county or township road.”
Design-build projects are unique in that the project is bid complete with design included, as opposed to being designed in-house with local funds. Boothe estimated that this process, never before used in Gallia County, saved approximately $135,000 in local funds.
A notable speaker at the event was Mary Walker Niday, age 77, who lives in the Northup community with her husband Victor J. Niday, age 79, and has documented the full history of the bridge. She talked about the history of bridges that have occupied the area in the past. She also spoke personally about the experience of working with the local crews.
“This indeed is a historic day for Northup and the surrounding area,” said Niday. “I believe our township was fortunate to host a fine crew of gentlemen. They were workers, crewmen — talented, gifted and most of all, they were gentlemen.”
The new bridge is 24-feet wide with a 200-foot span steel Warren Camelback Through Truss. It has a vertical clearance of just more than 15 feet.
“The old piers are non-load carrying and were left for aesthetics and to help prevent further erosion around the old mill dam,” said Boothe.
The bridge project seemingly went off smoothly with construction beginning June 8, 2013, and opening two weeks early on Nov. 15, 2013, for a total closure of 131 days.
Boothe said there were no change orders on the project.
The event was hosted by the Gallia County Engineer’s Office which includes Boothe, Assistant Engineer Jennifer L. Brown, P.E. and County Highway Superintendent David Roush. Many local, regional and state dignitaries were in attendance. After comments from the design and construction teams, the ribbon was cut and residents walked across the new structure. The bridge was then opened to traffic.
The Nidays had the distinction of being the first to drive across the new bridge in their 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee.