FLEMINGSBURG-- A sign marking a Fleming County historic landmark has been replaced after a long absence.
A historic marker sign at the Goddard Covered Bridge was installed Friday, July 1, in replacement of one stolen several years ago. The sign is located on Kentucky 32 where the covered bridge crosses Sand Lick Creek.
The replacement sign was made possible through a joint partnership between the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, Kentucky Historical Society and local agencies, and funding from the KTC's Transportation Enhancement grant program.
The Kentucky Historical Society applied for a Transportation Enhancement grant that covered 80 percent of the sign's replacement costs. The Fleming County Museum Society, which operates the Fleming County Covered Bridge Museum, and Fleming County Tourism provided the remaining 20 percent in matching funds.
The bridge, constructed in the early 1800s once carried traffic on Kentucky 32 between Morehead and Flemingsburg, but now it connects Kentucky 32 to local roads. The Goddard Bridge is one of three standing covered bridges in Fleming County and one of only 13 in Kentucky, which at one time was host to more than 400 covered bridges. The bridge is also the only remaining work of engineer and architect Ithiel Town, whose patented lattice truss design is what makes up the bridge.
"This bridge is the jewel in our crown," said Brenda Plummer of the Fleming County Museum Society and Covered Bridge Museum.
According to state officials, the marker is a valuable replacement and good use of the state's transportation enhancement grant program as well as a great example of state government working together with local communities to enhance tourism and, ultimately, future commerce.
Past restorations have helped the bridge to remain open to traffic. The most recent work done on the bridge occurred in 2005 and cost $1 million.
The bridge is also considered the centerpiece of Fleming County's annual Covered Bridge Festival and will be celebrated again this year on Aug. 27.