Preservation committee launches Dewey Bridge feasibility study
by Travis Schenck
Dewey Bridge Rebuilding Project
May 29, 2008 | 1326 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Since April the Grand County Historical Preservation Commission has been researching the feasibility of rebuilding the historic Dewey Bridge. The study consists of structural and metallurgical analysis to ascertain the potential costs of rebuilding the Dewey Bridge.

The commission is researching the cost of rebuilding the bridge. The goal is to see if it is feasible to rebuild the bridge or if the cost would be too prohibitive. Grand County is now accepting donations of funds to help with thie feasibility study. If the study proves that the rebuilding of the bridge is possible the Grand County Historical Preservation commission will begin pursuing grants and donations to rebuild the structure.

The commission is working with D&D Engineering of Grand Junction on the study, as well as the county and Utah Department of Transportation. As updates on the project come in they will be posted online at moabbridge.blogspot.com.

All monies donated to the bridge fund are allotted towards ascertaining the cost of reconstructing the bridge. Once the feasibility study is complete the commission will begin raising money to rebuild the bridge. The commission’s goal is that the majority of the funds for the bridge will come from donations from private citizens and from grants to preserve and rebuild historic structures.

Originally built in 1916, the bridge used tungsten alloy cables, a steel truss system, and a wooden deck for traffic to cross. The 503-foot span was completed in a record four months.

In 2000, the commission refurbished the aging structure, replacing parts of the wooden deck as well as cables and supports. The project, which cost almost $200,000, was years in the making.

Some area citizens have raised concerns that the bridge will no longer be a historical structure if it is rebuilt. The commission plans to use as much of the remaining support structure as possible and to follow the original bridge plans and design.

At all points the committee will attempt to preserve as much historic integrity as possible. The commission hopes that the rebuilt bridge will serve as a monument to the original structure and to the history of Grand County and the Colorado River.

Commission members believe that, as one of the few historic structures in the Moab area, the preservation and rebuilding of the Dewey Bridge represents the community’s dedication to protecting and remembering the past.

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