Tuesday, May 27, 2008

bridge closed!

Today, the State Department of Transportation closed the bridge in Madrid. The projected opening of the new bridge is said to be in 2010! This is quite a dilemma for all who live and work in this little town, and also for those of us (over 400) who regularly attend church and church functions there.

I promise that I won't complain about the lengthy detour we need to take in order to reach our properties now, and you have my permission to hold me to it. I have eagerly proposed to traverse the river by canoe and kayak, just to avoid the extra drive! My family laughed at this, but in fair weather, I'll bet they will try to do the same. (How many power tools can fit in a canoe? Watch this space for the answer...)

The following information was of interest to me. Note how long it took to build the present bridge (three months) and also the cost ($17,000). Of course, in 1882, times were different. But they really knew how to move a project along, don't you think? Let's hope and pray that the construction crew can be inspired by their example, albeit over 125 old.

"The first bridge built in Madrid was of logs across the Grass River, on its present site, a few rods below the saw mill of Roberts & Clark in the winter of 1803-4. This bridge has been renewed twice since and at various times repaired. In the years of 1880 and 1881 the people of Madrid discussed the bridge question very thoroughly as to the propriety of building a new bridge in place of the old one, either of wood, iron or of stone. At a special town meeting held in April, 1882, the question was settled to build of stone, when a committee consisting of H. C. West, W. O. Sweet and Ralph Aitchison was appointed to act with the highway commissioners, M. A. Gilbert and John A. Meeker. The plan and specifications were procured of Hinds & Hodgkins of Watertown, N. Y., and the contract to build of stone work given to M. L. & M. A. Cleveland of the same place. The contract for the iron railing was awarded to Gates Curtis of Ogdensburg. The stone was raised in a quarry at the end of the dam. The piers rest on the solid rock in- the bed of the stream, six feet wide and twenty-six feet long. There are nine arches, one thirty-two, one thirty-six, and seven thirtyeight feet span, making the length of the bridge about 400 feet. The arches are about one-third of a circle, which leaves a space under the center of about fifteen feet. The west end is a trifle over twenty feet high and the east eighteen feet.

The bridge was commenced on Monday, August 23, 1882, and the work continued without delay or any serious accident, and was completed in the short space of three months. The cost of the structure, including grading, etc, was nearly $17,000. The event of its completion was celebrated by the tax payers and their families with music, speeches, and an elegant dinner served in the town hall."

The townspeople of Madrid were very proud of their beautiful stone bridge! By the time this new bridge is completed, I am sure that music, speeches, and an elegant dinner can be arranged!


Blogger Darlene Sinclair said...

Fun, fun info.

8:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, it will be an interesting trip. Four miles from my home to church but fourteen, almost with the detour. Such is the progress of man. This, I have heard, is necessary however.

I was thinking of log rolling across the river!!!!Canoe sounds much more scenic and practical.

Michele L.

9:32 AM  
Anonymous brietta said...

I have to confess stumbling over the idea that it will take them 2 years to re-build. Ugh. It wouldn't even be so bad if Potsdam would take care of their roads and repave the West Potsdam route...

Wait. Am I complaining???


2:46 PM  

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