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New bridge installed in Bockman Park

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RONAN — On May 26, the Lake County road and bridge crew wrenched Bockman Park’s oldest bridge out of its place across Spring Creek and replaced it with a shiny, new addition to Ronan’s city park.

Using a crane, manpower and communication, a bright, coppery-orange arched bridge was placed gently in the former bridge’s place. It’s a stunning addition to Ronan’s lone city park and sure to elicit admiration of all who cross it. 

Ronan Parks and Recreation Director Jennifer Rolfsness referred to the orange addition as her “bridge over troubled waters.”

The seemingly pristine creek running through the park has been plagued with a high amount of pollutants from storm water runoff. The city is in the midst of planning for a project that will include removing the pollutants from Spring Creek.

Though the idea for the bridge started about four years ago, the construction of the bridge didn’t start until September, and it has taken the Lake County bridge and road crew a significant chunk of their spare time to finish. 

“These guys are really great,” Rolfsness explained. “They have been working on it all winter.”

“It’s so nice that they believe in our community. I would like to thank the Lake County Commissioners to allow the bridge crew to work on this,” she added.

The crew, consisting of Paul Tryon, Rick Kerr and Charlie Adams, built the bridge from iron. The planks that form the walkway over the top of the structure are made from pine that was stained a deeper brown, and the bridge was painted using automobile paint that glistens under the sunlight.

The nail-biting process left Rolfsness a tad nervous as they lifted the green bridge out of the ground with a crane. The new bridge was installed using the same mechanisms, and the tireless crew worked on the installation for the majority of the morning. 

“This thing isn’t going anywhere,” Rolfsness said. “Not even in a 100-year flood. It’s really stout.” 

The old bridge will be stored and may be revamped for use on another part of the creek, if the city finds a new spot.

No tax dollars were used in the construction of the bridge, and the $6,000 needed to foot the bridge bill will come from community donations. 

“(The Ronan community) will love it,” Kerr said. “It’s a benefit to their park and the whole community should enjoy it.”

To donate to the new bridge, contact Jennifer Rolfsness at 676-0211.

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