Work began on Monday, March 22 to repair the well-known swinging bridge located in Helper City. The city crew is working to replace iron supports along with the wood and fencing.
Two years ago, Helper City Mayor Lenise Peterman wrote a grant through the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) known as the Safe Routes to School Grant. This grant pertains to the historical swinging bridge as children and teens often use it to trek to the middle school and elementary school on the other side of town.
Mayor Peterman remarked that the bridge has not been updated in any time within her recollection. The bridge had an old mining belt on top of it, but the wood that was underneath has begun to rot. Mayor Peterman explained that they won the grant two years ago, but UDOT had some catching up to do and recently told Helper it was their turn.
This grant was fully funded with no need for a match from the city. Mayor Peterman expressed their excitement on being able to update the bridge for safety. “It’s truly a landmark in Helper, the swinging bridge, so it needed a refresh,” she stated.
Helper City Councilman Gary Harwood, also of Helper City Public Works, stated that once the wood is replaced, they will not be placing the mining belt back over it. This is due to the belt being hazardous in the winter as it becomes very slippery once it snows and freezes over. The wood will be sealed with linseed oil.
The chain link fencing that runs on either side of the bridge will also be replaced with powder-coated chain link fence. The progress of the bridge is moving along quickly and Councilman Harwood believes that the wood should be replaced within the week. The chain link may take longer to arrive, so they will slowly work on the fencing as time allows.