Adairville native Teresa Baldwin Brooks attended the Tuesday, March 26 Logan County Fiscal Court meeting in attempts to save an historic bridge on Logan Mill Road, where she and her family live. Brooks said several generations have grown up around the one lane, metal scaffold bridge that runs over a portion of the Red River.
“This bridge means so much to my family,” said Brooks, adding that it is also important to Logan County as a whole. “The bridge is more than a bridge, it’s been a way of life for us and several others who live around it. It has such sentimental value. Our children swam around it and skipped rocks from it.”
Apparently, the bridge has popped up on the states six year plan and is in danger of replacement. Brooks came to court with several family members in support of keeping the bridge. Also at the meeting for another topic was Greg Meredith, chief engineer for the state’s Transportation Department. This was the first time he had heard of opposition to the bridges replacement and was very concerned about Brooks and her family’s desire to save the bridge.
Meredith explained that bridges come up for replacement when they are in bad shape. He assured Brooks the county had nothing to do with turning the bridge in. He also stated that nothing was a done deal at this time and that the state was only looking into the project. He told Brooks he would put the project on hold until they could do more research.
“I promise we will look into this,” said a sympathetic Meredith.
Brooks said she was also concerned that if the state did replace the bridge, it could cause a negative impact on the land by flooding certain areas. She was also worried because she had heard one of the plans could possibly take out some houses on her family farm. She suggested closing the road and making the bridge for pedestrians only. She claimed over a dozen people live on the road and the bridge isn’t used that much anyway, so why spend a lot of money replacing it.
Brooks said the federal deficit was pitiful and the states wasn’t much better. She said why would a lot of money be spent on replacing something that is hardly ever used. Meredith agreed, saying it didn’t sound like they needed to. It was said the bridge replacement would cost over a half a million dollars.
“We don’t want to throw money away when it’s not needed. That’s not how we work,” said Meredith.
Darrell Baldwin, 70, remembers that bridge being there when he was a child. Baldwin is Brook’s father.
“I remember walking across the top of that bridge when I was a kid,” said Baldwin, who plans on fighting to keep it. Baldwin said the bridge, which he believes in way over 100 years old, is sturdy as it can be. He claims he has seen water cover the top during great floods and it still stands tall.
Meredith told Brooks if enough people around the bridge wanted it closed for pedestrian traffic only that could possible be done. He said the county would have to agree to maintain the bridge, however.
Tim Baldwin spoke to the court as well. He too lives on the farm where the bridge is located. He assured the court that no buses traveled over the bridge because there are different school districts on each side. He also said no large farming equipment travels over the bridge, despite being a farming community.
Meredith told fiscal court he would come back to a future court meeting with one of his “bridge” guys. He asked the court to be prepared to make a decision regarding the maintenance of the bridge, if it were left alone, and the closing of the road.