Newsflyer 10 September 2013 Part II

Mulberry Creek Bridge in Ford County, KS. Photo courtesy of Wayne Keller. Used with permission.

Continuing from Part I, not everything is doom and gloom regarding historic bridges. In fact some drives to save historic bridges are in gear providing a clear signal that the interest in saving these relicts is there. Here are some more highlights as we focus on part II.

Sutton-Weaver Swing Bridge to be refurbished

Spanning the Weaver River between the town of Frodsham and the village of Sutton Weaver (Chester District) in Great Britain, this bridge was built in 1923 by James Parks and features a Howe through truss swing span. It carries A56, a primary highway that connects the two communities. Structural concerns have prompted officials to close the bridge and refurbish it, a project which has commenced and is scheduled to be completed by fall 2014. A Bailey truss bridge has been erected alongside the swing bridge to ensure that motorists can use the crossing and not use a detour which is 14 miles long. More information on this bridge can be found here.

Preservation Campaign to save Mulberry Creek Bridge underway.

Last year, the Chronicles did a report on the two-span through truss bridge spanning Mulberry Creek in Ford County, Kansas, which carries a small minimum maintenance road that leads up to the farm place of Wayne Kellar (see article here for more details). Little has changed in terms of the county’s decision in June 2012 to demolish the last two spans of the original Dodge City Bridge that was built in 1906 but was relocated once before it was reerected at its current location. In fact, despite the strive to demolish the bridge in favor of a concrete culvert, Mr. Kellar has been striving to save the bridge and put it in his jurisdiction. He recently received some support- in the form of Mother Nature! Flash flooding on August 8th and 13th wiped out the road but the bridge was not touched by the floodwaters, which justified the argument against a culvert or any form of low-water crossings going to his property. Mr. Kellar has started a petition and fund-raising drive to save the bridge, convincing the county to replace a broken pin and do some minor repairs to reopen the structure to private traffic. A link to the petition drive with information on the bridge’s history and possibilities to sign the petition can be found here. The Chronicles will keep you posted on the latest developments with this bridge.

Covered Bridge in Vermont needs reconstruction

Built in the 1870s and spanning the Passumpsic River near the town of Lyndonville, the Sanborn Covered Bridge features one of the rarest examples of a Paddleford Truss bridge, used mainly in covered bridges. Floodwaters caused a portion of the bridge to partially sag and damage to the bridge parts.  A fundraiser drive to restore the bridge and reopen it to pedestrians and cyclists has started with the plan to relocate the bridge onto dry land, restore it and reerect it on new piers. $1.2 million is needed for the project. More information on the project and how you can donate can be found here.

Bridge to be reconstructed after a 70-year absence

Located along the Saale River southeast of Saalfeld in the German state of Thuringia, the Linkenmühlenbrücke near the village of Altenroth was probably the shortest lived bridge built along the river. Built in 1943, the steel girder bridge was in service until it was destroyed by Allied bombing in 1945, shortly before Adolf Hitler’s suicide and Germany’s capitulation. For over 67 years, the only way to get from Altenroth to Linkenmühle was with the ferry. The state government is working to restore the crossing and has put 4 million Euros aside to build a bridge and provide easier access to the villages. Most likely, the bridge will be 200-300 meters long and about 20 meters high. Bridge type is unknown at the moment. Despite some scepticism, it appears that the bill will be passed in the coming weeks and work will start on the new crossing by next year, lasting over a year. More details can be found here.

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