Old Stone Bridge worthy of saving

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor,

     The Old Stone Bridge has become a football politically and always it is about money and where we spend it or where we do not.

     The practical side of this question is why does this road have to go through to Timber Road? The business of a “farm to market road” loses its arguments because of the hill on one side of the bridge. Dragging equipment or grain trailers up this hill does not make much sense, and what land that lies along the road has largely been developed or is in pasture.

     The initial feeling was the bridge should have turned into a park and the road could have gone around with a box culvert used to make it work for whatever the county engineer wanted the road to carry. Again, we heard the cry, too much money!

     From that point it became how to destroy this bridge and replace it with a concrete box culvert. Ripping off the sides and then paving the bridge so the water would destroy the integrity of the bridge that has stood the test of time for well over 100 years seemed intentional.

     The question really is this, is there nothing sacred or worth saving that just happens to be old? Does every barn need to see a match up close and personal just because it is not as functional as it once was?

     We have so little here of our past and those who would like to keep something of a reminder of where we have been and how we got here seem to have to fight tooth and nail to keep anything. Coming to loggerheads seems to be the only way we can get satisfaction as the Monticello dam recently proved. Honest dealings with the public at-large seem to be considered bad policy and when things go wrong, we all know who gets the bill to fix the problems.

     From the Express article, it appears Supervisor Oswald believes the road will get a lot of traffic if it is opened over the bridge. I, for one, do not see it happening, and if that truly is the case, why would it? Hardscrabble is not a destination for anyone other than those who live there and for those who camp; it is certainly easier to get there through Monticello.

     Maintaining the bridge would be cheaper if it were not going to be getting traffic over it and the need for traffic going that way isn’t worthy of tearing down a landmark.

     As to Supervisor Zirkelbach’s remarks about all of the historic structures in the county in need of repair that are on the pocketbook of the taxpayers. If that is so, then the county must not be maintaining any historic structure or they wouldn’t need repairs in the first place. I do not recall any county money being spent on anything historic other than the courthouse.

Steve Hanken

Monticello, Iowa

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