$475,000 plans to rebuild Whites Covered Bridge move ahead

KEENE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) – Officials say $475,000 plans to rebuild a Michigan covered bridge that was destroyed by arson two years ago are on track.

The Whites Covered Bridge in Ionia County’s Keene Township was more than 140 years old and spanned the Flat River. Authorities say someone doused the bridge in gasoline. No one has been charged.

Whites Bridge Historical Society President Tom Byle tells the Sentinel-Standard of Ionia the goal is to bid out the project by the end of the year. The project received a $275,000 grant from the Michigan Department of Transportation and a large donation from the Meijer Foundation.

The bridge about 15 miles east of Grand Rapids burned July 7, 2013. Byle also worked rebuilding the Ada Covered Bridge in 1980 after an arsonist struck.

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