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Historic Paoli Bridge Repaired, Still Closed To Traffic

County commissioners say the bridge will cost nearly $750,000 to repair.

Construction on a historic Paoli Bridge is finally complete, nearly two years after an overweight semi caused it to collapse. But officials say it won’t be open to traffic until after Thanksgiving.

The South Gospel Street Bridge collapsed in December 2015 when a truck driver tried to cross it in a semi weighing 30 tons, ignoring posted weight limit signs. The county has been working since then to restore the bridge, which was originally built in 1880.

Orange County Commissioner Don Brewer says they’re waiting on two height barriers to be constructed and installed on either side of the bridge. The barriers are set at ten feet high, and Brewer says they will alert anyone driving a vehicle if the car is too large.

“That way, anything coming onto the bridge will hit those before they get to the bridge,” Brewer says, “and hopefully they will stop.”

Brewer says the county originally planned to reopen the bridge by Thanksgiving, but now he estimates it will reopen before Christmas.

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