Author Kobi Yamada once stated “when your memories outnumber your dreams the end is near.” Many of us have fond memories of the Otway covered bridge. However, for several years only a few had dreams about what it could be, or the important role it could play to our county, as well as our communities.
The Otway covered bridge has been a historical landmark that has attracted people to our county and to the Otway area for many years. However, we often drive by on a regular basis, sometimes without even giving it a glance. It has been a lack of dreams that has allowed the bridge to become in a state of serious disrepair. It is a lack of dreams that threatens the bridge’s very existence for the next generation to enjoy.
While many have memories, there have been an increasing amount of individuals who have begun to share their dreams of preserving this landmark for the enjoyment of future generations. It was these dreams that caused groups like the Scenic Scioto Heritage Trail Committee, the Otway Historical Society, Brush Creek Township Trustees, the Scioto County Commissioners, and the Scioto County Engineer’s office to work together to formulate a plan and apply for grant monies that would allow the bridge to be repaired and preserved. Many individuals from these groups have worked tirelessly to try to make their dreams a reality.
In August of 2012, a $280,025 grant was awarded to repair and preserve the Otway covered bridge. Since the grant is an 80-20 matching grant, twenty percent matching funds must be raised in order to receive the money. If $70,000 can be raised before the upcoming deadline, the grant money will be released and construction to repair and preserve the structure could begin in the spring of 2013. However, if the matching funds ($70,000) are not raised, the grant funding will be lost and the future of the bridge will be in jeopardy.
The groups who have been pursuing the dream of repairing and preserving this historical landmark are asking for your help. We are asking for you to be a part in helping this dream become a reality so future generations can continue to make memories at the Otway covered bridge. We are asking for your support in raising the $70,000 in matching funds so the needed repairs can be performed to save the bridge. All donations are accepted and appreciated. It is our goal to install a display at the bridge recognizing those who helped with this effort. Loved ones, ancestors, families or groups can be memorialized with a donation of $100 or more.
Donations can be mailed to PO Box 38 Otway, OH 45657.
If you have questions you can contact Norvel Davis at (740) 372-8310, Mike Seaman at (740) 372-8888, or Jake Orlett at (740) 259-5747. You are also invited to like our facebook page “Otway Historical Society and Otway Covered Bridge.”