The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) recently announced that the city was awarded Transportation Alternative Program (TAP) funding for the DH Morrison Bowstring Bridge Renovation & Relocation project. An 1874 David H. Morrison Bowstring Arch Bridge has been donated to the city and will be removed from its current location on a farm in rural Auglaize County, be renovated and then relocated to Sidney's 230 acre Tawawa Park. Once rehabilitated, the bridge will replace an aged footbridge that is more than six decades old to connect recreational trails on either side of Tawawa Lake.
Based on Morrison's 1867 patent, the bridge was manufactured by Dayton's Columbia Bridge Works and erected in 1874. The bridge is one span of what was once a three-span structure located across the Auglaize River on Kossuth Pike (now SR198). When the bridge could no longer accommodate more modern loads, it was sold. This section of the original bridge was purchased in 1924 by seven-year old Oliver Winget from the Auglaize County Commissioners for $1.00 as a birthday present for his grandfather, Charles McClintock. The bridge was relocated to the McClintock farm, and placed across Two-Mile Creek, where it remains today. It remained in use for the next 75 years until modern farm equipment rendered the bridge obsolete.
ODOT has provided 80% of the eligible costs in Federal funds through the grant program. This year, ODOT is also utilizing Toll Revenue Credit (TRC) and will provide 95% of the eligible costs in Federal funds, up to a maximum of $837,647 in Federal funds through the Transportation Alternative Program, in State Fiscal Year 2025.
The total project cost estimate is $881,733.60. The city’s share of the project is 5% of the total project cost, plus engineering fees and environmental studies.