|Bert Oman and Ray Petersen unload the planks that will be used to replace the deteriorated decking at the Swinging Bridge.|
With preserving Emery County's heritage and historical landmarks in mind, Emery County Public Lands Director Ray Petersen is overseeing the restoration project for the Swinging Bridge in the San Rafael Swell. The project began last summer with an inventory of the bridge to see exactly what was needed to preserve and restore it for posterity. A grant was obtained from the Utah State Historic Preservation Commission which allows for restoration work to be completed.
Emery County's Preservation Commission, along with the Emery County Historical Society have been pushing the project through the process and are now realizing their dreams of preserving a piece of Emery County's history. The 160 foot suspension bridge known as the Swinging Bridge was dedicated on April 24, 1937 by then Utah Governor Henry H. Blood.
After the bridge was closed to vehicle traffic, several restoration and maintenance projects have been undertaken.
Following the inventory of the bridge, needs were calculated and materials were ordered.
To make use of some of the beetle killed spruce trees, Norm Dingman logged and milled the lumber to the exact specifications of the portions of the bridge to be replaced.
|Jimie Dawn Jones and Jim Majors spend a Saturday working on the Swinging Bridge.|
The logs were then transported to the Emery County road shop where several dedicated hunters put in their hours treating the planks with preservatives.
The next step in the process was for several trustees from the Emery County Detention Center to sort by size and load the lumber on two trucks and a trailer.
The use of the equipment was donated by the county road shop, along with the man-hours to drive the supplies to the site.
This restoration project will continue to take more time and is in need of volunteers to do the reconstruction work at the Swinging Bridge.
For more information, contact Petersen at 381-5552.
Another work day on the Swinging Bridge will be scheduled in the near future. If you would like to help contact Ray.