July 15, 2024

OTTAWA — On a split vote, county commissioners decided this morning to vacate a historic damaged bridge over Tauy Creek northeast of Ottawa. They held a public hearing on whether to vacate that part of Nebraska Drive that goes over the Tauy Creek bridge. The bridge is 115 years old and has been closed for 20 years but was damaged a few years ago by an arson fire. County officials had said it was too expensive to rebuild for the number of people who would use it. The bridge will be turned over to neighboring property owners. Most of the people who spoke urged the county to keep the road open. Shirley Broers lives near the bridge and urged the county to either repair the bridge or build a new one to keep the road open. Bob Wooten also lives near the bridge but he urged that the county do more to shut off access to the bridge, including that part of Nebraska Drive south of the bridge and gate it to keep out partiers and illegal dumpers. Retired architect Bob Marsh said although the bridge no longer should be used for traffic it still can have a public purpose as a county park. There are a variety of grants and recreational funds available to help fix the bridge. Commissioners David Hood, Don Stottlemire and Sue Farrell voted to abandon the bridge. Commissioner Don Hay voted againt. Commissioner Ed Taylor didn’t attend this morning’s meeting.
Wednesday, Oct. 20, 5 p.m.

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