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Dewey Bridge, Grand County

For 72 years, the Dewey Bridge served as a lifeline across the Colorado River for the residents of rugged eastern Grand County. Located 30 miles northeast of Moab, Dewey Bridge was built in 1916 and remains Utah's longest suspension bridge today. Recognizing its significance, the Utah Department of Transportation donated this historic structure to Grand County rather than demolishing the bridge when it was closed to vehicular traffic in 1988.
Efforts to restore the bridge got underway in 1997 when Grand County applied for a $25000 matching grant from Utah State Trails and Parks. Two local businessmen and neighbors of the bridge stepped forward with a generous initial gift of $12500 and challenged the Grand County Historical Preservation Commission to raise the rest of the match. Under the able leadership of Dale and Wilda Irish, the Preservation Commission met the challenge and even raised enough funds to qualify for an additional $27000 grant.
The restoration of the bridge begin in 1999. The emphasis of the project was to retain the bridge's original design, preserve historic materials, and, when necessary, replace damaged elements with like materials. Thanks to the contributions of numerous Grand County residents, the Dewey Bridge stands today as a link in the Kokopelli Brike Trail system and an important connection to Grand County's past.