FEATURE — In the quiet hamlet of Rockville, a piece of history spans across the Virgin River. It is both a feat of engineering and an almost artistic treasure in the area. The historic Rockville Bridge is known as a connector and was once the only way for tourists to travel between Zion National Park and Grand Canyon National Park.
This week on the “No Filter Show,” co-hosts Paul Ford and Grady Sinclair take a trip across the historic bridge and connect viewers to the histories of the scenic town.
Watch the video up top.
The Rockville Bridge was built in 1924 with federal funding to Zion National Park to provide a transportation link between national parks in Utah and Arizona. The bridge provides access from Rockville to the ghost town of Grafton as well as Gooseberry Mesa, Smithsonian Butte and state Route 59.
The 217-foot steel bridge is the last remaining Parker-through truss bridge in Utah, and in 1995 it was placed on the National Registry of Historic Places, a previous St. George News report said.
But the future of the bridge became uncertain when its weight capacity was downgraded from its original 25 tons to 14 tons. The lowered weight capacity limited connectivity to the south side of the Virgin River and raised costs of construction on that side due to the additional cost of carrying smaller construction loads across the bridge.
Options for the bridge were few and included bridge replacement, building an additional bridge or rehabilitating the existing bridge. Rockville residents overwhelmingly favored bridge restoration, and community members have been working tirelessly to secure the necessary funding through a combination of fundraisers, individual donations, grant funding from the Joint Highway Committee and legislative funds.
The Historic Bridge Fundraising Committee has successfully raised the matching funds required by the federal grant to complete the restoration of the bridge. Future fundraisers will continue to be held and monies raised will go toward a bridge maintenance fund.
“No Filter Show” Episode 140
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