Step 3: Set up your delivery

It wasn’t until November when the construction company called up and said “We’re gonna take you bridge apart real soon here. Where do you want it?”

So the next step is simple: Let them know where & how to deliver it. It’s your bridge now, so tell them in what condition you want it in. I asked that (if they could) they pick it up in one piece (deck and all) and drop it on my abutments, still intact, but they said “No can do”. As they explained, they could have done it that way but it needed to be taken out in two steps, as it was a bit too long and wide to make some of the sharp corners in one piece. So then I told them that the only stipulation that I had in accepting this bridge was that the moving crew could not take the trusses apart , as it was hot-riveted and they would not go back together again. They agreed, so they dropped them off intact.

I was like a kid in a candy store at Christmas time! I went down to watch them take it apart. Here is a picture of what the sight looked like after they took it out. While I was there the farmer from the house across the creek came down and spoke to me about it. He was really jazzed that it was going to a good home and then he told me the most incredible story about that little bridge I had ever heard. Here is the story he told [paraphrased]:

     About 20 years back he was building a dairy barn and needed about 7 yards of cement for the floor. When the cement guy said he was on his way he stepped out to watch him come down the road. Only he didn’t come down the road; the driver had taken the wrong route, and without knowing what lay ahead he drove that cement truck with 7 yards of cement [turning in the back] across that little bridge. Long about now [he said to himself] “Oh crap, this ain’t good …”. He fully expected to watch the whole rig drop 20 foot into the creek below and so he made ready to call the local hospital. Much to his surprise the bridge flexed and moaned a bit but let the truck on across.

Okay, for all you engineers out there, let’s crunch some numbers here: at 4,695lbs/cu yds he had about 32,875 lbs of load on the back of a cement truck that weighed somewhere between 30,000 lbs and 45,000 lbs empty. Since most cement trucks [that can carry 7 yards in one load] are rated at 9 yards total, he probably weighed closer to the 45,000 lbs. For the sake of being conservative let’s say he weighed about 40,000 lbs empty. This means he drove over 72,000 lbs (36 tons!) across a little bridge with a 3 ton weight limit unscathed. And, since it is at the bottom of a windy road, I can promise you he didn’t have much speed when his wheel hit that wooden deck. Pretty strong, huh…

I took a before and after picture of the original site after they took the bridge out. Wow…what a mess! Here (also) is the front page of the local paper showing the drop off. I now had my 15 minutes of fame, right alongside there with our own local version of the Uni-bomber's crew!…Cool!
<p>Love, love, LOVE this instructable. It made my day :)</p>
I truly appreciated reading this instructable. I too am a historian, and appreciate seeking out, coming across anything of historical value in especially having to do with architecture, in particular railroads. I also was a member of an engineer battalion in the army and was very proud of building a timber trestle bridge of which I personally drove a 2 1/2 T. truck across. So I can relate to the building of a bridge and the satisfaction it gives you. <br>
Rick, <br>Members like you make it all worth while. Thanks for the kudos, and back at you with the same!
I was going to have <a href="http://www.campbelltruss.com" rel="nofollow">truss companies near chicago il</a> deal with it. Now I feel as if I could do it! Thanks for the help!
No, I was delivering a bridge. Here's your sign. ;)
Wow, this is so cool. <br>Not only that you managed to save and restore a bridge, but that the authorities actually cooperated you.<br><br>Here in Bureaucratic Britain, this would rarely happen. <br>Theyd be too concerned about health and safety incase it collapsed, and would much rather just destroy it than ever let a member of the public have it and do some good for once. Well done!
Thanks for a great story with a lot of heart... and a straightforward Instructable.<br><br>Well done!
Way to go! The good Guy definately won the battle on this day!!!!
Hah ! 'got a bridge to sell ya' =D<br>This serves as a great story of country community and hospitality . Usually in an urban area this type of thing can take a year ,tons of red tape ,headache and after a few million in inefficiency , you can still get &quot;no&quot; as an answers . Good to see this.<br><br>I did not know that about steel and iron . Question : 'an historic' or 'a historic'? i'm No grammar Nazi but just curious .
Hi,<br>regarding the an/a question I think both are &quot;correct&quot; as the letter n in &quot;an&quot; is there to sort of soften the transition from one vowel to another. This is due to the way we speak and how the speech organ is &quot;constructed&quot;. <br>We aren't that good at going from one hard vowel sound to another and maintain speed and a nice &quot;song&quot; in our speech.<br><br>Depending on the manner you pronounce historic, with a distinct wheezing h or toneless h, you will use 'a' or 'an' respectively.<br><br>This is one of the reasons why sometimes acronyms are written with 'an' as indefinitive article even if they are spelled with a consonant, like an FBI-agent. The sound is a 'vowel', in this case an E for &quot;ef-bee-ay&quot;. <br><br>You can read more at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Article_(grammar)#Indefinite_article<br><br>Hope this clarifies the use of a/an in diffrent situations.<br>//J<br>
hah, wen i researched it ,one of the example is actually 'historic' :<br> <br> <strong>an historic (never) &quot;This is an historic occasion,&quot; intoned Senator Pfogbottom. &quot;I don't care to listen to this windbag,&quot; said the cynical reporter. &quot;I think I'll go to McDonald's for an hamburger.&quot; . . . When the aitch (h) is silent, as in honor and hour, use the article an. When the aitch is pronounced, as in house, hamburger, history, and historical, use the article a. (33)</strong><br> Then again , i think the writer in english(british) .Them folk are known to pronounce are 'R' in 'idea' =) ,and then take it back out for 'biker' Lol . So since we're talkin Amercin' hist , i think the U.S. rule historically is what i was after. So , yea ,KY-bum, that is funny that Instructables grammar guys did dat.<br> <br> jimbru, to edit posts, have u tried copy, delete-post ,paste ,edit and repost?<br> <br>
Hi BtheBike,<br><br>interesting post you wrote. Thank you for the insight. It's always good to learn something new. <br><br>Also, a big thanks for the tip on how to edit a post. Didn't think of this ingenious solution. Simple but efficient. :-)<br><br>Have a nice day,<br>J
I'm glad we got that settled! No more sleepless nights :-) . Since I definately didn't major in English any constructive help for my anemic talents as a journalist doesn't hurt.
Hi,<br> <br> I'm no grammar-nazi either, I just find language interesting. Mostly from a ethymological stand-point but also in style and grammar.<br> <br> Since English is not my first language, coming from Sweden, I sometimes grapple with simple questions regarding spelling and the correct word to use in different types of texts even though I believe I have a fairly developed sense for it after studying English in school for nine years and reading a lot in English.<br> <br> When younger I was an obnoxious know-it-all but after reaching a more mature age and realizing that there was more to communication than using the right prepositions and pronouns at all times I became more relaxed in my attitude towards what I deemed to be erratic usage. :-)<br> <br> I noticed that I had made some errors in my previous post, but I blame the time factor as I wrote it at work while talking on the phone and packing up to go home. Regretfully I don't seem to be able to edit the post...<br> <br> Cheers, J<br> PS Nice instructable, always good to see that some people find history to be important enough to spend the time and resources to preserve it and don't by the whole modern use and trow away-mentality
BtheBike, with regards to being a Grammer Nazi...I try to be and I found your comment funny, as that was the title that the editor of this website gave the link to this instructable, not me :). I couldn't figure out where I made that error until I got the newsletter in my inbox and saw how they posted it. If I made it elsewhere I haven't found it. <br> <br>You would think that whoever puts that newsletter together would have caught this grammer error. =8-D
The Bridge of Mason County, what a great story.<br> <br> This would never happen in NYC, it would be stalled by years of bureacratic bungling, environmental studies and cost overruns, not to mention labor disputes and endless permits, inspections, and approvals.
I was born in PA, but raised in KY, and I like the &quot;time&quot; comparison. Some things happen here very quickly by comparison to the northeast, like reclaiming a bridge, or driving to work, or marriage. Other things are very slow by the same comparison, like eating, or speaking, or waiters, or driving to work. It is nice to see that some common sense decisions can hit the ground running anywhere.
Well, I have found that in many situations like this that [even in doubt] it doesn't hurt to ask. You never know what you are capable of unless to push the limit.
And by the time it is sorted out, it would have already collapsed... resulting in more paperwork and confusion.
I find it a bit odd this was the only one around, here we have single lane truss bridges absolutely everywhere, because there easy for the DOT to keep in good shape. <br> <br>Good job on moving the bridge and save a part of you area history :) <br> <br>
You are right about one thing, I. too, find that statement 'odd' but I put it down anyway because it came up in the initial grant request that we first submitted when we started this project (which we were turned down for :(. The local county grant writer (who did the research for the grant) came up with that fact. As far as being a fact, I could not verify it in my life time, so I quoted it only that it sounded reasonable. It may only have be accurate if the word &ldquo;in use&rdquo; where after it, but they weren&rsquo;t so that I cannot say for sure; I didn&rsquo;t do the research. As far as &quot;easy for the DOT to keep in good shape&quot;, I think the KY DOT would beg to differ; they were quite happy to see it taken down. As the DOT rep on the site told me &quot;It's a maintenance nightmare to paint and re-deck this bridge as often as we have to&quot; I wouldn't say it was a nightmare, but (as you can tell from the I&rsquo;ble this kind of bridge isn't 'plug-n-play' when it comes to keeping it up. As side note, the deed to the bridge stipulates that I cannot sell the bridge to a third party for 20 years so it&rsquo;s 'uniqueness' is of no real value to me. <br> <br>If you search for information of this nomenclature (Pratt Pony Truss) you get a number of hits all detailing minute changes in construction and design [when it comes to what constitutes this design] and what doesn&rsquo;t. You also see a few still-standing examples that may or may not have sight variations needed to categorize it in this manner (I suspect that only an expert in antique bridge design can tell them apart). Thanks all the same for your comments. I hope they spur others out there to do as you have done, study, question (and hopefully) preserve history.
Simply far out man
Today in brandbagfactory.com bought a bag. Pretty cheap
Love it! We live in Delaware Ohio (about a hour from Mt. Vernon). Next time we're traveling that way we'll have to swing by and see it in all it's glory!
Groovy old bridge, it would be make an interesting place to hide a geocache. <br>Its great that it now has a new lease of life! :)
Interesting photo of an identical bridge in 1891. ----&gt; <a href="http://denverpost.slideshowpro.com/albums/001/496/album-200509/cache/west21.sJPG_950_2000_0_75_0_50_50.sJPG?1299450199">Bridge</a><br> <br> http://denverpost.slideshowpro.com/albums/001/496/album-200509/cache/west21.sJPG_950_2000_0_75_0_50_50.sJPG?1299450199
<br> &quot;Built in 1887, it was the last wooded deck bridge in Kentucky still in use.&quot;<br> <br> I'm not so sure about that sentence.&nbsp; Here is a bridge in my area that is still in use:<br> <br> <a href="http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=1701+Ray+Road,+Lewisport,+KY&aq=0&sll=37.870604,-86.902395&sspn=0.000913,0.002411&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=1701+Ray+Rd,+Lewisport,+Kentucky+42351&ll=37.870653,-86.902478&spn=0.007233,0.01929&t=h&z=16&layer=c&cbll=37.870604,-86.902395&panoid=EOxKIBeasz4wyvGJmwCBEg&cbp=12,121.98,,0,0.95"><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Google Map</span></a><br> <br> Here are some better pictures I have on Picasa:<br> <br> <a href="https://picasaweb.google.com/Lopazopy/RayRdBridge?authkey=Gv1sRgCMiNuNumkf-yiAE&feat=directlink">Picasa album</a><br>
lopazopy,<br><br>What a neat find. Kudos for taking pictures of it. I was told (when I got the bridge) that the state (Ky) had closed all of it's mills where it cut the wood for the decks, and that this was the last one it decked and it was last on the list due to be retired. I wonder if they meant it was the last 'state maintained' wooden decked bridge, and that the bridge [you make mention of] is maintained by the county. I took their word for it but it might worth looking into. If you do, let me know what you find out. I hate to be inaccurate.<br><br>That bridge is a nice old one worth grabbing. You ought to talk to your county road commissioner and ask when they plan to scrap it. Also look into the bridge manufacturer; It still has the Mfr plaque on it and its worth investigating. Mine disappeared with ages. I plan on casing one for it someday (more to save for...)
. Excellent
Excellent! You and your wife must be commended for this effort. Too much of our country's history is disappearing, one item at a time, <br>I will attempt to visit your bridge when down there. As someone from Western Montgomery County Ohio, I can visit Ohio's covered bridges too, but most of our Iron bridges have been replaced with concrete.
What a wonderfully inspiring project. Fun, responsible, resourceful, respectful, and caring. You made my day. Just to know there are people out there like you, doing the things you do, gives me hope for America.
nice work.
Awesome! The newest golf course in my area (Sweetgrass Golf Club) rescued FIVE historic brides and incorporated them into their design.
This is a great article and this is a good thing you have done to preserve this piece of history. <br> <br>I am a metallurgical engineer and the information about the bridge being made of iron and the comparison to steel is a little different than my understanding. <br> <br>The material &quot;cast iron&quot; is made by casting and at the time this bridge was built it would mean an alloy of about 3 to 3.5 % Carbon (C) and 1.5 - 2.5% Silicon (Si) plus other minor elements with the balance being the element (Fe) iron. If it is indeed cast iron then then if cracking happens there is no yielding prior to fracture, unlike &quot;ductile iron&quot; developed in the late 1940's. <br> <br>If the iron is &quot;wrought iron&quot; which was commercially important before steel was developed, then it is indeed low in carbon content and is a material that is worked by puddling iron and using forging equipment the iron is mechanically worked while hot. Slags are contained within the iron and the material is more highly corrosion resistant. The material can be bent and is not as fragile as cast iron, and will bend somewhat before breaking. There are few sources today for 'new' wrought iron. <br> <br>Steel in one sense is more highly refined cast iron or wrought iron (this is a broad statement) but is more economical to produce, has very good mechanical properties, but as you note, when corrosion sets in, the iron oxide on the surface ('rust') will readily fall away exposing more fresh iron for oxidation. Steels are also mostly made of the element Fe (iron) with Carbon at levels of perhaps 0.1% to 1.2% and also contain Manganese and other alloying elements. <br> <br>If you have a small piece of the bridge that you would want analyzed I will do it.
YES!!! Bridges are cool! All bridges. Yours is a functional, utilitarian object with built-in beauty of design, and historic as well. Thank you for saving it from the scrapyard.
Thank you for actually telling how you did this instead of just posting a badly focused picture and wait for applause like it seems most people does these days.
I love this story; you have a wonderful family and community. My favorite part was the guy urging you to go see the Ohio bridge, but not spoiling the surprise for you. What fun!
this story gave me a warm feeling :) specially with al the help at the start.. great going and well dome for preserveing something that would have ended up as scrap :)
I love bridges and am going to build one in my back yard SOMEDAY. Awesome to see yours. Good job.
SPOON!<br><br>What an awesome project, and a truly inspriational writeup. What a great epilogue, too :-)
Awesome!! You guys Rock!

About This Instructable


36 favorites


Bio: A jack of all trades and a master of many; I was the Sr R&D Engineer and Manager of R&D for a very ... More »
More by Disc Dog: How to hide a handgun in plain sight! The Electric Sailboat Flight Helmet Tape Job
Add instructable to: