A covered bridge in Princeton that is almost 160 years old needs major repairs after a semi truck hit it.

The Red Covered Bridge partially collapsed after the accident. Crews spend the day clearing debris and ensuring the surrounding area was safe for people who live in the area.

The bridge was operational since the 1860’s. “Heartbroken. My grandparents used that bridge, my parents used that bridge,” Lex Poppens, Executive Director for the Bureau County Historical Society and History Center, said. “We all grew up with that bridge as part of the fabric of this county. And to see it as wrecked as it is, it’s just heartbreaking to see.”

The Red Covered Bridge was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975. The History Center in Princeton wants to see it restored. “The History Center will be a part of any program to restore, and we will support in any way that we can,” Poppens said. “I would hope that there is a restoration plan. The bridge is so iconic to everybody here, that I think that is what the community and the county will demand.”

Our Quad Cities News is waiting to hear back from officials for the cause of the collapse.