Burning Bridges: Historic Dewey Bridge, RIP

I was sorry to hear about the senseless destruction of the historic Dewey Bridge, an old single-lane wood plank suspension bridge that spanned the Colorado River near Moab and Arches National Park.

It had been closed to all but foot traffic for over a generation, replaced by a flavorless but efficient freeway-style wide bridge a few hundred feet downstream, which proved impervious to the fire.

On Sunday April 6, a wicked, wicked child (aged six, if media reports can be believed), lit a brush fire that eventually burned down the Dewey Bridge.

The kid's horrible parents must be quite proud. Historic bridges don't grow back. The kid is off to a good start, and I look forward to his future achievements in crime. I hope he is scarred by horrible acne and never knows the love of a woman.

The bridge was a great place for decent, law abiding people who control their offspring to go for picnics. It was built in 1916 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

According to news reports, it was the largest suspension bridge west of the Mississippi until San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge was completed in the 1930's. Although that doesn't seem right to me, I can't prove otherwise. The bridge was over 500 feet long, but less than 1,000, so do your own Wikipedia work. At any rate, it was certainly the longest suspension bridge in Utah, but as a guy on the Internet notes, there probably aren't that many suspension bridges in Utah.

The bridge was immortalized in an episode of Ben Edlund's "The Tick". The Tick referred to it as his "favorite bridge" (although they transposed the bridge to "The City". I think the bridge survived everything, including Dinosaur Neil and Chairface Chippendale, but in the real world it was ultimately destroyed by a wretched six year old.

I took an FM recorder to the bridge in the early 90's and recorded the sounds of tapping on the various cables with drumsticks, mallets, rocks and anything handy, which I have used both as drum samples and laser gun sound effects ever since. I wish I had taken a cello bow to use on the long cables, but I didn't have access to one at the time.

Now that the bridge is gone, I'd like to return to those original tapes and re-sample them at 24/198. If anyone is interested, I'll post the "Dewey Blaster", a big sci-fi laser gun sound that was based on the bridge. Now that I have additive tools and resynthesis, I could do some interesting things with the sounds of that bridge.

So long. Dewy Bridge. You will be missed.

You were my favorite bridge.

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