By Rick Palsgrove
Large tree trunks smashed into and damaged the suspension bridge at the Groveport Municipal Golf Course after torrential day-long rain on Feb. 17 produced flooding along Little Walnut Creek.
The tree trunks and other big timbers, were carried along by the fast moving flood waters of Little Walnut Creek. The impact tore and cracked metal bridge railings and the bridge appeared to bend with the pressure from the weight of the heavy wooden debris.
Groveport Golf Director Tom Walker said damage to the bridge is similar to prior floods.
“We will have the bridge inspected by an engineer to determine areas that will need to be replaced and/or repaired,” said Walker. “Based on experience, I would guess some of the vertical supports and clamps will need to be replaced and/or repaired and sections of the kick plates.”
When asked if the bridge can be repaired or if it needs to be replaced, Walker said,
“Without having the engineer’s report I can’t say if it needs to be replaced, but I would expect repairs are all that are needed. I fully expect the bridge to be repaired and open with little to no effect of the golf season. That could change once the inspection is completed.”
Walker said the city’s public works department removed the large tree trunks from the bridge on Feb. 21. Then heavy rains on Feb. 22 resulted in more flooding on Little Walnut Creek on Feb. 22 and 23 that further buffeted the battered bridge.
Walker said the potential cost to repair the bridge is not yet known.
This suspension bridge over Little Walnut Creek, which leads to the golf course’s seventh hole, is 40-years-old. Walker said there is no alternate route to the seventh hold.
“This is the second bridge,” said Walker. “The prior one failed while the golf course was privately owned. The frequency of damage to the bridge is based on how often we flood. Some years we have none and others we have multiple flood events.”
The suspension bridge is not the only bridge on the golf course.
“There is a continental bridge west of the suspension bridge that connects to the back nine,” said Walker. “It was not effected and usually isn’t during flood events.”
When asked what other parts of the golf course were damaged by the recent flood and how extensive is that damage, Walker said, “Lingering water, debris, and silt deposits with little damage to the turf grass or golf course. It’s very typical of previous floods. Outside of repairs to the bridge, which is unknown at this time, the economic impact to the golf course should be minimal.”
About the golf course
Formerly a private country club, the Groveport Municipal Golf Course, 1005 Richardson Road, Groveport, is an 18-hole, par-72 course, owned and operated by the city of Groveport. The front nine was built in 1929, designed by Frank Waugh. The back nine was built in 1971, designed by Hurdzan/Kidwell.
For information about the golf course, call (614) 836-5874