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Bridge built in 1887 to be closed until next year after trucker “thought he could get across”


A historic bridge is now expected to be closed until 2023 after a truck driver took a detour not intended for tractor trailers. 

The incident happened on Friday, August 5th at about 7:50 p.m. in Preble County, Ohio. 

According to Dayton Daily News, a semi truck driven by Jean B. Baudelaire of Orlando turned onto Brubaker Road to avoid a road closure on Ohio 122 just outside of Gratis. While a detour for the road closure is marked, Brubaker Road is not included in the semi-truck friendly detour route. 

“The truck driver, instead of following the designated detour route, decided he would go down Brubaker Road … for whatever reason, I think he thought he could get across the bridge,” said Preble County Sheriff Mike Simpson.

“Quite frankly as soon as he turned on to Brubaker Road he should have known he was not going to be able to get down through there.”

The truck was stuck for several hours as crews attempted to dislodge it. Since its removal, the bridge and that portion of the road has been closed. Officials say that the roof sustained most of the damage in the incident, and that the bridge was already repaired and redone in 2001. They expect repairs to be complete some time in 2023. 

“We are hoping to have it back open by the end of 2023,” Cross said. “We want it to continue to be used by the public. It is the oldest bridge we have that you can still drive through. The covered bridges are as much of the fabric of Preble County as anything. We fixed in once, we can fix it again.”

Baudelaire was cited for driving on a closed roadway and failure to control his vehicle.


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