The Town of Rockville is considered a rural, residential, and agricultural community, with only 247 residents. Since its founding by Mormon pioneers in 1862, Rockville has maintained the integrity of its historical town plan and has been referred to by historians as "Utah’s last treasure". Rockville has little commercial activity, so the tax base is primarily small.
Today the bridge serves Rockville homes on the south side of the Virgin River and recreationists accessing Gooseberry Mesa and Smithsonian Butte. Tourists, as well as historians, cross it daily to visit the Historic Town of Grafton. Rockville faces many challenges from tourism and recreational impacts, with over four million visitors annually descending upon this narrow canyon. The Rockville Bridge is a treasure and important architectural structure. It should be restored and protected for future generations.
Everyone in the community of 247 has been engaged in volunteer fundraising efforts led by Mayor Pam Leach, the Town Council and a volunteer Fundraising Committee. These include rubber ducky races, art exhibitions and auctions, change collection jars, the receipt of several grants and many other activities.
In late 2012, the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) completed a detailed inspection and evaluation of the Historic Rockville Bridge. Their inspection revealed signifcant deterioration and the load rating was downgraded to 14-tons. Plans were made to replace the historic bridge with a new two-lane bridge using Federal funds. In 2013, the Five County Association of Governments conducted a survey of all Rockville residents and property owners. With a 57% response rate, 74% indicated a preference to restore the existing bridge.
As a result, in 2015, the Town petitioned the Joint Highway Committee to alter the scope of work from a new twolanereplacement bridge to a full rehabilitation of the existing bridge. This rehabilitation would increase the load rating to its original 25-tons and add approximately 45 years to the life of the existing structure. Following a comprehensive feasibility study by Michael Baker International (SLC), and given the support of local citizens, the Joint Highway Committee and Utah’s Transportation Commission approved the change to rehabilitate the Historic Rockville Bridge in June 2016.
How You Can Help
Visit the official Historic Rockville Bridge webpage to or go straight to their payment page to contribute by credit card, or mail a check to the Town of Rockville with “Bridge Fund” in the memo section, and mail to P.O. Box 630206, Rockville, UT 84763. All donations to a municipality for public works are fully tax deductible.
News article in The Spectrum, Rockville Wins Push to Rehab Bridge with Federal Funds
Rockville Bridge Facebook Page
The Washington County Historical Society web page on the Rockville Bridge