Needed bridge repairs may lead to its removal
Thirteen year old James Johnson and his ten-year old brother Evan stand alongside State Route 37 Monday afternoon protesting the possible removal of the wooden bridge over the railroad tracks on East Side Street in Goreville. He said the bridge is a part of Goreville’s history he would like to see preserved.
“I don’t want to see it go,” Johnson said.
The Johnsons are one of three families that live on the other side of the tracks for which the bridge serves as the only means of access. Goreville Water Superintendent Sam Mighell, who helps oversees Village infrastructure projects, said holes in the bridge were recently discovered and after making contact with the railroad authority it was proposed to remove the bridge instead of repairing it.
“The bridge is not dangerous or about to fall in,” Mighell said. “It’s just old and in need of repairs the railroad company might not want to do.”
Mighell said nothing has been established for the bridge’s future, only that it needs repairs. One possible solution to keep the bridge is leaving it intact as a pedestrian-only bridge while an access road is constructed from East Gore Street to East Side Street. For James and his brother Evan, life would not be the same if the bridge were to be removed, he said.
“This is my third day in a row out here,” Johnson said. “I don’t know if I can save the bridge, but I’m going to try.”