CAGLE MOUNTAIN, Tenn. - Sequatchie County resident Roger Wise says Woods Development's covered bridge should have been fixed instead of razed last week.

"A couple of weeks ago when we had those real heavy rains, the road underneath the bridge washed out and it took part of the bridge with it," Mr. Wise said.

A crew from the county highway department demolished the damaged bridge last week.

Mr. Wise said Woods residents believe the county should be responsible for replacing the bridge because it has taken over the development's roads.

"The people in the Woods Development are really upset about it," he said.

But County Commissioner Redgie Camp, who represents people living on Cagle and Fredonia mountains, said state standards apply to bridges, even if they're initially inadequate and adopted by the county.

The covered bridge "looked good" but didn't conform to standards, he said.

"The state's going to put the money up to put a bridge in, but not a covered bridge," he said.

Woods residents Jim Wall and Gary Fricks said they were most upset that the bridge was razed without allowing residents to recover materials they could use to rebuild.

"It's the way they went about it," Mr. Fricks said.

Both men said they want the bridge rebuilt, and Mr. Wall said he wants an apology.

Ruth Doudt said residents feel mistreated.

"Everybody up here has maintained that bridge," said Mrs. Doudt, who noted that most residents are relatively new to the area and rarely call on the local government for help.

"The guys go down to pressure-wash it, replace the lumber, do all the staining, and it's all out of pocket; it's our money," she said.

Residents said they've spent at least $2,000 on maintenance since the bridge was built in the 1990s.

County Executive Michael Hudson said the county has no say in how the bridge is rebuilt, but he noted local officials made sure the residents on both sides of the closed bridge have a way out.

"The state's moving as quick as possible to get the bridge replaced," Mr. Hudson said. He said he was unaware the residents were upset but could sympathize with their situation.

"If they want a covered bridge, they would have to take that up with the state," he said.

TDOT spokeswoman Jennifer Flynn said the county is using state bridge funds for the repairs, which puts the project under state guidelines.

Ms. Flynn said a cover would be an "enhancement" that could reduce the bridge's capacity, compromise safety and make it hard to meet requirements. She said such a project would have to be undertaken by the county, which also would be constrained by regulations.

The original steel culverts that clogged and caused the damaging overflow were too small when they were installed, Ms. Flynn said.

The state did not initially consider the creek crossing a "bridge," but the repair will officially make it a bridge subject to regular state inspections in the future, she said.

Mrs. Doudt said she was "sad to see our bridge go."

"A lot of people have bought property up here because of that bridge," she said.