Wind: 0 mph
Things shifted fast this week where contractors from S.D. Ireland Company were working on the Kingsbury iron bridge over the Mad River on Route 100 in Warren.
At the beginning of the week, the historic steel truss bridge was intact, albeit minus decking. Drivers on the temporary bridge over the Mad River on Tuesday were treated to a view of the south end of the bridge suspended over nothing but air from an enormous crane.
By Tuesday afternoon the bridge had been swung to the south side of the Mad River and by Wednesday afternoon the mighty structure had been cut into short linear chunks of steel.
The sight was sad for a variety of reasons.
First, it happened so fast. Work on building a temporary bridge in that location has been under way since last fall and it has not been speedy. To see the bridge suspended in the morning, in a field in the evening and chopped into pieces by the following afternoon didn’t allow much time for adjusting to the loss and grieving aesthetically for the loss of such a visually interesting structure.
Second, there was hope throughout the process that some company, town or organization would come forward with a plan for adaptive re-use of the bridge, and that did not happen. The Vermont Agency of Transportation has specific protocols for making historic bridges available for re-use and documenting them for posterity when that does not happen. So it is documented and it is now destroyed.
Finally, even though it has been documented, it’s a shame to see a piece of our history cut into scraps of steel to be carted away. That bridge was built after the flood of 1927 and withstood major and minor floods between then and 2013, including 1936, 1938, 1973, 1976, 1998 and finally Tropical Storm Irene in 2011.
It’s too bad.