Lost Landmark: Dewey Bridge (UT)

 At Dewey, a tiny settlement of five or six log houses at the confluence of the Colorado and Dolores rivers, State Highway 128 once crossed a cable suspension bridge over the eddying Colorado River, here approximately 150 yards wide. The bridge was built in 1916.  In its prime, it was designed to support the weight of 6 horses, 3 wagons, and 9000 pounds of freight. It was significant for its outstanding engineering accomplishment and for its historical role as a vital transportation and commercial link connecting southeastern Utah with Colorado and other points east.  In the early decades of the Twentieth Century, Moab and other southeastern Utah towns were dependent on communities in western Colorado both for everyday supplies and for markets for their agricultural products.  This bridge, which spanned the formidable natural barrier of the Colorado River, was the first to provide a direct connection.  Dewey Bridge was Utah’s longest suspension bridge and, at the time of its construction, was the second longest suspension bridge west of the Mississippi.  It was also the state’s longest clear span bridge. 

The bridge burned in 2008.  The Grand County, Utah, sheriff’s department attributed the April 6th fire to a 6 year old boy. He was playing with matches when he sparked a wildfire near the Colorado River that quickly spread to the bridge.  The wooden bridge, which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was virtually destroyed. The span was a familiar landmark for those who frequent the Moab area to take advantage of its slick rock mountain bike trails and other recreational pursuits.  Photos were taken in 2007.

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