Galena Village Council on Nov. 23 decided the Kane's Crossing Trail bridge over Big Walnut Creek won't be covered.

Galena Village Council on Nov. 23 decided the Kane's Crossing Trail bridge over Big Walnut Creek won't be covered.

Village officials earlier considered making the structure a covered bridge, which would have increased the bridge's cost.

The bridge is part of the Ohio-to-Erie Trail, which runs from the Ohio River to Lake Erie. When completed, the trail will connect cities, towns and villages throughout the state.

At a special meeting on Oct. 12, council accepted a bid for an uncovered bridge.

Mary Kerr, representing the Delaware County Friends of the Trail, appeared at the Oct. 26 council meeting to protest the decision. She said a covered bridge would increase the life span of the bridge from 50 to 100 years.

Council agreed to take another look at the issue before making its decision Nov. 23.

Council had already accepted a bid for an open bridge from The Righter Co., Columbus. Although no contracts had been signed, a change in the bridge design might cause too many legal issues, mayor Tom Hopper said.

The bridge's construction design and management was bid out and awarded to Jobes Henderson engineering firm, Newark. At the Nov. 23 meeting, council selected the same company for additional work around the bridge, including approaches and paving part of the trail.

The bridge will be funded with a grant and money raised by the Delaware County Friends of the Trail, a nonprofit group that works to build and maintain multi-use trails.

"I did talk to the board and they are OK with matching funds on the open bridge. They're OK with the open bridge," DCFT representative Dave Bender told council at the Nov. 23 meeting.

Although the village was awarded $148,000 for the project, it will need only about $62,000 to build an uncovered bridge, Hopper said.

DCFT submitted a grant application to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources in 2008 to construct the bridge. The grant for 80 percent of the costs up to $148,000 was awarded to Galena in April. Matching funds of about $8,000 came from the DCFT.

The grant money will be used to reimburse costs, Hopper said. The village does not have available funds to pay the money up front. Delaware County has agreed to cover those costs.

The county commissioners passed a resolution to spend the money, but village officials are waiting for a written agreement before the project can proceed, Hopper said.

The project must break ground before Dec. 31 or the grant from the ODNR will be revoked, public service director Scott Jamison said.

"If the county stalls the project is dead," he said, noting the village has yet to receive the county's written agreement.

Currently, only the base for the bridge exists, with decking and sides still needed, said Bob Kane, a supporter of the Ohio-to-Erie Trail.

The bridge, 160 feet long and 10 feet wide, will be for foot and bicycle traffic only, Jamison has said.