Sunday, April 19, 2009

Springfield Vermont Spares and Repairs a Bridge to the Past - Fancy News

Upon first motoring into town from the nearby highway exit, (exit 7 on interstate route 91), one passes by a construction site that is busy working away at an old-fashioned box cantilevered bridge of some basic Victorian industrial design, much like the many similar bridges that have been allowed to decay to the point where not much else can be done but to finish nature's job of reducing all things to mulch. Indeed, it is not that these structures were designed to last indefinitely, or even to be "beautiful", by the original designers, who were certainly motivated solely by profit and loss and immediate utility, but time having past, these old iron bridges are endowed by the later generations with qualities never intended, and as they pass into rust and scrap these bridges are regarded with admiration and awe and no small amount of nostalgia. So it is that the cynical stranger sees the activity about this survivor from a busier age, and imagines it's certain and imminent demise in accordance with some cold schedule.
However, if that stranger were to pass this work-site over and over again, thoughts might lead to wonder that the execution takes longer and takes more care than might be expected from a simple demolition, and a few questions of the locals will reveal the surprising possibility that this one bridge might be saved in fact, for future generations to marvel at, for just a little longer.
Appropriately, this bridge sits near a small visitor's center - comprised of Springfield's old one room school house, and another bridge, a similarly cantilevered covered wooden bridge (both saved many years ago from the wholesale demolitions that made way for the construction of the dam, on the site of the old Springfield).
The renovation of the old iron bridge to Paddock Road and Memory Lane is well along on it's way to completion. A cursory inspection by even the most casual observer shows that the road bed is nearly complete, and soon the grey heads will be able to cross, reminiscing about the may old friends and the vast tons of materiel of war and peace that ever crossed through these trusses in years gone by, and children will once again challenge gravity and the waters below with stringed hooks and daring feet that brave the mechanical heights of a powerful silent servant.