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Tag Archive: bridge

May 27

Honey, I bought a bridge!

“Honey, I bought a bridge,” my husband said as he walked through the kitchen door one summer evening nearly 11 years ago.

I asked him if he meant to say he had shrunk the kids, but no, he said that, in fact, he had bought a bridge.

Now, I am thinking that surely he must have said “fridge.”

Nope. He repeated it again, “I bought a bridge.”

To which I replied, “Just out of curiosity, say if one wanted to buy a bridge, how would one go about doing that?”

“Got a great deal,” he said.

I was thinking something along the lines of this, “Exactly why do we need a bridge.”

Instead of saying anything, I waited for the sure-to-come long-winded explanation.

Long story short, and believe me it was a very long story, he said it was just too good a deal to pass up.

Seems as though his brother-in-law knew of a new bridge being put in somewhere along the Moniteau River in south central Missouri. The county gave the old bridge to the contractor and let him figure out how to dispose of it. The contractor had no need for an old steel bridge and told the folks in the area that he would sell it cheap if someone would haul it off.

“What a great deal,” my husband continued, “not only is there oak flooring still in tact on the bridge, but guess what? There is a second bridge. It is actually the better of the two and has a plaque indicating that it was built in 1898.”

Hey, what can you do? A deal like that does not come along just any old day.

Thereupon, we set out to find said bridge and figure out how to move it home.

Are you with me on this?

The best part of Mission Bring-Home-the-Bridge-We-Just-Bought was the woodland paradise scenery we found, gorgeous Ozark woods and clear streams.

Locating the bridge was the easy part. Deciding how to move it home was the conundrum.

The bonus bridge, only 25 feet long, would be simple to move. We could borrow Cousin Gene’s trailer and haul it easily along the county roads and onto the interstate and home with no insurmountable difficulty.

Don’t ask me how we loaded it.

Transporting the big bridge, 16 feet wide and 50 feet long, was a brain teaser for sure. State law prohibits traveling the interstate with such a long load except for limited daylight hours. County roads are difficult to maneuver with curves and hills to negotiate.

Looks like we would now have to find a tractor truck with a low-boy trailer and hire the job done.

The cost of the bridges was mounting, the great deal gone.

Today, after eleven years of enjoying the view (from our breakfast room) of these two steel bridges in the field north of our house, I have no real complaints.

Can’t say as much for the neighbors.

The wildlife loves the bridges though.

I have watched a fox take a nap on one of the beams, cats hunt mice in the weeds that have grown up around the bridges, deer enjoy the salt lick beside them, and wild birds roost on the girders.

I have to say I am somewhat at peace with my own Bridges of Lafayette County after all this time.

For awhile there, “The” bridges, as we have named them, drove me crazy, and I even tried to sell them on eBay once. No bids whatsoever.  I ran ads in magazines and told every contractor I knew about them.

Yesirree Bob, there’s a sucker born every minute.

And, we are it.

By the way, I have a couple of bridges that are always on the market.

So pass the word.  I can make you a great deal!