Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Utah's Bridges: Dirty Devil River Bridge (3)

May 2006 (37.916-110.389) Dirty Devil River Bridge
A closer look at the Dirty Devil River Bridge that includes a view of the river. The explorer John Wesley Powell unintentionally named the river when he cried, "It's a dirty devil!" while navigating its currents. In my photo it really does look dirty. I read that it carries so much salt that the river has to be cleaned before it's emptied into Powell's namesake reservoir.

Conservationists are fond of reminding us that Glen Canyon Dam, Lake Powell Reservoir, this bridge (and me) are just an infinitesimal blip in geological time. With my meager knowledge of geology, I'm still torn between an urge to write about the bridge and to write about the landscape. Not that I know that much about why this bridge was built, who designed it, or who paid for it.

In today's photo we can see the 'X' bracing between the arch ribs, the steel collars that hold the arch segments together, the spandrel columns supporting the deck, the silver paint covering the steel, the amount of rock that was removed to plant the foundation into solid ground, etc. Still, I can't help noticing the huge butte (all that is left of some eroded mountain) hovering in the distance. Or sympathize with the eroded canyon, dug up by flowing water over millions of years. Or envy the trees (the only green vegetation) at the canyon's bottom.
Creative Commons License
Utah's Bridges: Dirty Devil River Bridge (3) by Mark Yashinsky is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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