WATERVILLE, Ohio — After a bidding war between two people sitting adjacent to each other at the same table, Sarah Heidelberg is walking away with the Roche De Boeuf interurban railroad bridge.
She won with a bid of $6,500. Heidelberg was not willing to make any comment on what she plans to do with the bridge.
The Ohio Department of Transportation was alerted back in 2017 there were safety concerns with the bridge, particularly for those using the water below.
"So that kind of started the process of ODOT looking at this bridge and trying to see what the feasible options were," said ODOT spokeswoman Rebecca Dangelo.
ODOT said it tried offering the bridge to anyone they could think of before auctioning it off to the public.
"We've already offered the bridge to different public entities, historic groups, adjacent land owners, anybody we thought might be interested," Dangelo said.
If the bridge did not sell, ODOT said the most feasible option was to demolish it, something it is trying to avoid.
"We know this bridge is very significant to the locals, it's a very important landmark for northwest Ohio," Dangelo said. "So we wanted to offer it with public auction before proceeding with any other possibilities."
Don't expect to notice any changes to the bridge just yet. The deed still has to get signed by Gov. Mike DeWine, which could take six months or more.
"Unfortunately the deed process does take a little bit of time, but we're going to be working with her to transition all of this property including the bridge over," Dangelo said.
Roche de Boeuf is French for "Buffalo rock" or "Rock of beef." The large rock formation under the bridge was used by Native American tribes to hold councils.