Installing the Iron Bridge
by Ed Cerny

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Beneath the bridge the river flows
In dark pools and greenish glows.
Across its spanning brace of force
The autos roll, and people course.

At the August 11 Annual Meeting of the Friends of Beaverkill Eric Hamerstrom reported the long-awaited new bridge across our river at Craigie Claire had arrived weeks before and been assembled, there to lie, awkward and impotent on the bank, awaiting the mysterious workings of the government genie. Thus the stop and start history of the structure continued unabated. Suddenly Steve Lott learned that a crane was to arrive on Monday, August 27, to lift and set the trusses the next day. A likely story, but Sally and I drove down to the crossing point on Monday only to see the Monster Crane resting quietly next to its ungainly burdens. Nothing would do then but to show up with cameras, kids, and grandkids the next morning to see if the Lott prophecy would be fulfilled

From early morning until an 11:45 lunch break for the workmen, Monster Crane was positioned, braced, weighted, and then hooked onto what would become the downstream truss, After their lunch, work was resumed and the first truss quickly lifted and placed gently into the beam pockets set into the piers and abutments built into the banks the prior fall. Riggers walked across the span, bolted it in place and set up temporary braces. The upstream truss quickly followed. Perhaps a dozen people watched the show, about as many in the audience as the actors on the stage.


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