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Arm Strong Bridge

Historic Harmar Bridge now closed to pedestrians

Stage one of the continued efforts to preserve and return the Historic Harmar Walking Bridge to productive use was completed by the hands of volunteers Sunday.
Jedd Butler, of Newport Township, Chuck Swaney, of Marietta, Rick Flowers, of Williamstown, Mike Iaderosa, of Devola, Grady Smith, of Marietta, Robert Hilburn, of Mount Vernon, and Dennis Cavalier, of Marietta, pushed together a four-point lever on the thickest pier of the bridge.
Hilburns voice echoed each rotations number between the east and west banks of the Muskingum Rivers where onlookers gathered to watch the turning.
Oh, thats getting tight, he huffed around the thirteenth rotation.
The bridge, which is privately-owned by the nonprofit Harmar Bridge Company, was closed to pedestrian traffic to mitigate risk while the nonprofit board undergoes expansion
and restructuring while launching a fundraising and grant-leveraging campaign marketed by Marietta Main Street to convert the former train bridge.
Last week, the nonprofit board met with some prior board members, local business owners and representatives of Main Street West (the Harmar neighborhood group which meets monthly to problem-solve and interface with local government as a separate committee of Marietta Main Street) to plan the turning of the bridge and discuss the present financial savings the nonprofit has retained from spaghetti dinners and annual Harmar Days festivals since the nonprofit took ownership of the abandoned structure in 1988.
On Sunday, Smith encouraged each volunteer after the 21 rotations were complete, to climb beneath the platform where trains once ran, and down to see the gears, track, wedges and other ironwork that allowed for the swing to occur.
And make sure to write your name here, he pointed out above some pack rust.
Smith noted how the structure must stay turned to allow for boat traffic during high waters and that it was built to sit open without support.
Even the Major, owned by Captain Jason J.J. Sands, needed the bridge swung first before tying up below to rescue the stranded volunteers.
than 100 years.
These waters are deep here, explained Sands as he piloted the boats approach to the eastern bank of the confluence below the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers property Sunday. Ill just hit here and well just blow up there.
Sands is also the owner of the Valley Gem Sternwheeler and The Riviera restaurant which rest at the docks below the Washington Street Bridge up the Muskingum River.
Sands crew Sunday included his son Andy, Don Sanford and John Stone.
Mayor Josh Schlicher then spent the remainder of the morning with HBC board members reviewing the structural concerns and stability of the eastern approach and ensuring the volunteers adhered signage of the bridge closure to a new chainlink gate at the end of the walking bridge.
Well be back with our engineer and some of the crew in the morning to go over what needs to be removed for safety, said Schlicher. The west side over Hart Street we know isnt sound, but what Grady is telling me on this side we might be able to leave more of the timbers.BridgeSunrise1-1100x733.jpgTurning1-1100x733.jpgbridgeturn.jpgMajor8-1100x733.jpg




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I got video of if I can ever get it downloaded...one day at BN Bridge 37 when I was working the power went out
when the bridge was in the open position. The Foss Tug Company was called eventually and they showed up in 15 minutes
with 2 tugboats and each one hooked a line to each end and slowly shut the bridge. Good thing because I was
violating hours of service not by choice. This might be a good place to post a few of my Bridge 37 pictures/stories.
Stories from "The Bridge".


If you are in a horror movie, you make bad decisions, its what you do.

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