TN Bridge Eligible for Historic Register

Wed June 08, 2005 - Southeast Edition

FAYETTEVILLE, TN (AP) An 80-year-old limestone arch bridge that was to be torn down and replaced last summer by the Lincoln County Highway Department now has been deemed eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Nashville District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently sent a letter to the federal Advisory Council on Historic Preservation in Washington, saying the county’s proposed replacement of the Molino bridge would “adversely affect a property that is eligible for [National Register] listing.”

“The project is on hold,” said Brad Bishop of the Corps’ regulatory section. “They may still be able to tear down the bridge, but there’s a documented process to go through.”

The Corps has requested information from the county for alternatives, he said.

Herbert Harper of the Tennessee Historical Commission said arch bridges made of limestone are rare in the state.

Sherry Bartlett, a Lincoln County resident who was sued by the county after she sat on the bridge to halt demolition work, said she hopes the decision by the Corps and the Historical Commission will give the bridge a permanent reprieve.

“It’s not a sure thing,” she said. “Just because we get the bridge on the National Register doesn’t mean it’s saved, but it would put an obstacle in their path that could take a while to work through.”