Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communications Office
Executive Cabinet Secretary Robbie Rudolph Cuts Ribbon on Goddard Covered Bridge Restoration Project

Press Release Date:  Wednesday, August 16, 2006  
Contact Information:  Jodi Whitaker

Mark Brown

The Fleming County landmark will boost tourism in Kentucky’s covered bridge capital

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Just in time for the annual covered bridge festival, the Goddard Covered Bridge in Fleming County is now fully restored. Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Executive Cabinet Secretary, Robbie Rudolph, was joined by Kentucky Transportation Cabinet officials and local and state leaders in Flemingsburg today to mark the completion of the restoration project. 

“The historic value of Goddard Covered Bridge cannot be expressed in dollars and cents,” said Secretary Rudolph. “It is a gem of our past, a reminder of the rich heritage of Fleming County and Kentucky. This restoration will allow future generations to enjoy its beauty and serenity.”

Preserving the historic integrity of the bridge was a priority for the Transportation Cabinet and a key factor in the restoration process.  With a total cost of just more than $1 million, the restoration included repairs to the roof, flooring and support structure.  The types of wood used for construction were carefully selected and prepared for the project, including southern pine, red oak, white oak and poplar. 

“This is a wonderful day for the people of Fleming County who have taken such great interest in this project,” said Transportation Cabinet Secretary Bill Nighbert. “Governor Fletcher’s support and the public’s participation in this restoration were critical elements to the project’s success.”   

The Transportation Cabinet called in covered bridge design consultants Arnold Graton and David Fischetti to assist in the restoration and to ensure the final product was historically representative of the original structure. Intech Contracting LLC, of Lexington, was awarded the construction contract. The Kentucky Heritage Council and the Buffalo Trace Covered Bridge Authority were also involved in the restoration.

Senator Walter Blevins (D-West Liberty) commended the community for its support throughout the project. “It is a wonderful day when we can save a vital part of our history,” Blevins said. “There is no doubt that Goddard Covered Bridge offers spectators one of the most scenic views in Kentucky.”

Tourism Commissioner Randy Fiveash said Goddard’s picturesque setting attracts visitors to the commonwealth. “As one of only two Kentucky covered bridges still open to traffic, Goddard Covered Bridge is a cherished treasure that belongs to all Kentuckians,” said Commissioner Fiveash. “This restoration will help boost tourism in Fleming County and the surrounding region of northeastern Kentucky. This is a bellwether day for the state's tourism industry.” 

The Goddard Covered Bridge once carried KY 32 traffic over Sand Lick Creek between Morehead and Flemingsburg.  It’s one of three covered bridges in the county.  

“I want to thank everyone who has been involved with the Goddard Covered Bridge project for a wonderful job,” said Rep. Mike Denham (D-Maysville).  “Our goal was to restore the bridge to reflect its original design and structure, and the final product has exceeded my expectations.”

Marc Williams, commissioner of the Department of Highways, said the Goddard restoration project required a high level of specialized knowledge and skill.  “Our team of covered bridge experts and historians worked together with the contractor to render positive results with respect to historic preservation as well as aesthetical and structural integrity,” Commissioner Williams explained.

Fleming County Judge-Executive Larry Foxworthy applauded the project’s completion, citing its significant mark on local history. “The Goddard Covered Bridge renovation is a marvelous occasion for Fleming County,” said Foxworthy. “I commend Governor Fletcher and the Transportation Cabinet for their continued and unwavering support toward the completion of this project.”      

Goddard Covered Bridge is Kentucky’s only surviving example of a Town lattice truss bridge, inspired by Connecticut engineer and architect Ithiel Town, who patented the design in 1820. A signature of the town design, the bridge trusses are connected by wooden pegs, or treenails. Goddard is also one of only two covered bridges that remains open to traffic in the commonwealth. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.  

Known as Kentucky’s covered bridge capital, Fleming County will host its annual covered bridge festival beginning August 26.

Transportation Bond Funding

Also while in Fleming County this afternoon, Secretary Rudolph represented Governor Fletcher and announced the awarding of $504,600 in KYTC bond funds.  Ceremonial checks were handed out to officials from Fleming County, along with the cities of Flemingsburg and Ewing.

The funds will be used in the following manner:

  • Fleming County--$445,600 for resurfacing of various county roads
  • City of Flemingsburg--$45,000 for resurfacing of city streets
  • City of Ewing--$8,000 for resurfacing of city streets

In the past two years, local governments have received more additional state funding for their local road systems than at any other time in the history of the commonwealth.