Early County Comissioners Work to Preserve Historic Landmark

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A historic Early County landmark has been slowly deteriorating.

"This is probably one of the most beautiful spots anywhere in this region."

The Coheelee Creek Bridge in Early County is the southernmost covered bridge in the country.
At 96 feet long, the bridge was built in 1891 then restored later in 1984.

Since then, county officials say keeping up with trash and vandalism has been difficult.

"It's in a location that's hard to access as far as city and county personnel. It's an isolated location and it's just an easy target for vandalism," Road Superintendent Greg Weathersby said.

The roads department has tried gated entrances and barricades, but nothing seems to work.

The Early County Commissioners are doing all that they can to turn what is now a place for vandalism, back into history.

"We're trying to get this area back to the state that it was in earlier years, back to where it's pristine and people can enjoy it again," Chairman June Merritt said.

Commissioners are making plans to remove or cover the graffiti, replace broken boards and eventually close foot traffic to the bridge.

"That's the only way we'll be able to preserve this for the future," Merritt said.

The project is expected to be complete in a few months.

The Board of Commissioners has already begun cleaning up the rest of the Coheelee Creek area.