LooseCrew-JeffO: The Dewey Bridge is No More!


Ramblings of an adventurous guy living in Denver and playing in the mountains.
For my trail adventures, visit my Trail Bum blog

Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Dewey Bridge is No More!

At work, I was delivering and showing our company political advocate his new Dell Latitude XT (don't buy one!) He's a multi-sport athlete who goes to Moab even more than I do. So he changes the subject and says, "Did you hear the Dewey Bridge burned down?"
"No way! I was just there!" (Why do we say that?)
My photos were taken 6 days before it burned, but my friend had been there the day before. So it was quite a shock. We had each stopped to pay homage.
Wow, if I hadn't stopped... I didn't really have enough time - not for spending as much time in Arches National Park, not for the Dewey Bridge, not for the Hot Springs in Glenwood Springs or the long conversations I had with Kelly-from-Cedar Ridge. But I was bound and determined on that trip to take the time to experience everything along the way, even if it meant getting home at 1:30am Monday morning and had to be at work at 8am.
Running races, rushing to and from far off places, I usually arrive late, sleep little, and rush home, only wishing I had time to see all the wonders along the way. Now I'm so very glad I stopped to smell the roses.

A kid was playing with matches, and the bridge builders, in all their wisdom, soaked the bridge in creosote. So basically the bridge was made of fire-starter! Once the fire started, there was no putting it out, and it burned hot.

Kid Playing with Matches...

UltraRob's Adventures...

There is only a slight chance it will ever get rebuilt. It is the general consensus that the steel is all ruined by heat. Since the steel is the most expensive, complicated, and difficult part of construction, this is the crux of a new bridge. Not to mention, if the entire structure has to be scrapped and replaced by new material, where's the history? Like Bent's Fort, and some other places, it's just a facsimile.

Since the bridge would no longer be commissioned to carry vehicles and cattle herds, maybe it would be okay to rebuild it without replacing all the steel? There are barriers at each end anyways. Only pedestrians and bikes can manage to get onto it. So it doesn't have to be nearly as strong. Replace all the lower steel rope, and add a couple of steel rope strands to the suspension on each side. Doesn't have to be a complete redo.
The original wood was heavier, and soaked in creosote, so new wood treated with copper would probably be lighter. I think a rebuild with most of the current steel is worth it.


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