TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV)– Vigo Co. Parks Department hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of the Irishman Bridge in Fowler Park Friday.
The restoration project has been in the works for more than a year.
Harvey Milner is a descendant of one of the original bridge’s builders. He also grew up a few miles away from the bridge and he often traveled across it.
Milner said he’s proud to see it still standing.
“I’m glad to see it here. It’s beautiful. It’s done something for me and a lot of other people know of this old bridge. They lived by it and went through it everyday. They appreciated it,” he said.
The bridge was built in 1845 and moved to Fowler Park in the 1970s. However the bridge was later closed to the public due to safety concerns.
Adam Grossman, Vigo Co. Parks Superintendent, said they had to decide whether or not they were going to let the bridge go or restore it for the community to enjoy.
“It really attracts so many people. It’s so neat to have that history and that rich history preserved.”
The bridge is the only covered bridge in Vigo County and its restoration cost over $100,000. The department also received a $10,000 donation from the National Society for the Preservation of Covered Bridges to fund the restoration project.
Grossman said he’s glad they we’re able to preserve an important piece of history.
“This restoration means so much to everybody. The rich history that we have that we’ve saved here for the county. What a way to walk into Pioneer Village across that structure that was saved and brought here.”