A burned Ottawa bridge remains closed, but is on track to reopen.

According to a Kansas Division of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism official, the bridge spanning the Marias de Cygnes River west of Ottawa along the Flint Hills Nature Trail (near the Second Street dam) will require repairs before reopening to public use. The bridge sustained damage in a fire Jan. 11, the cause of which is still unknown.

“We had an engineer evaluate the bridge last week, and it was confirmed that it could be reopened once we take care of a few minor issues,” said Trent McCown, KDWPT trail manager, in an email Monday. “The work will initially involve pressure washing the rails and patching concrete which chipped due to the heat.”

According to Herald archives, heat caused the bridge to buckle, resulting in warped railing and the concrete cracking.

“The bridge is still structurally sound, despite the damage from the fire,” McCown said. “We have left the bridge closed due to the recent weather limiting our ability to complete the clean up work and address the cracked concrete, which could be a trip hazard.

Weather factors will continue to determine the bridge’s reopening date, McCown said.

“We hope to have the bridge reopened within the next week, if the weather cooperates,” he said. “We will need to complete further work once the weather improves, but we will reopen the bridge for use as soon as possible.

“We again wish to thank the Ottawa Fire Department, they did a great job of responding and extinguishing the fire.”