ROCKVILLE, UTAH – The small town of Rockville is exploring options to restore a 90-year-old bridge that spans the Virgin River in the town. This week they received two grants to help pay for that exploration.
The National Trust for Historic Preservation and The George S. and Delores Dore Eccles Foundation awarded two grants totaling $15,000 to the town. With locally matched funds, a study will be done to see if the bridge can be restored, and what it would cost.
“Our first concern it to make sure that we have a bridge that is safe, and will serve the community for many years to come,” said town council member Pam Leach. “It’s our hope that the engineering study will show that the bridge can be rehabilitated.”
The Rockville Bridge was built in 1924 as part of a project by the National Park Service to provide better access to Zion National Park. In 2012, the Utah Department of Transportation conducted a study on the aging structure and found it had deteriorated significantly. At the time, the weight limit was reduced.
Town residents like Ingrid Linton want to see the bridge restored. She said it’s one of the reasons she loves the area. She said it brings a charm you can’t find many places.
‘It’s historic,” Linton said. “It embodies the quaintness of Rockville.”
Leach said the bridge would not go away. Their goal as a town is to maintain it regardless of the outcome of the study.
“The bridge will always be here,” Leach said. “Whether we will have to use it for pedestrian use or use it for what it’s designed, and that’s vehicular traffic.”
The National Trust for Historic Preservation said they commend towns like Rockville who are trying to retain their unique sense of history.
“We are honored to provide a grant to Rockville,” said National Trust for Historic Preservation President Stephanie Meeks. “Which will use the funds to help preserve an important piece of our shared national heritage."
The town is accepting donations to help raise funds for the bridge rehabilitation. Leach estimates they’ll need to raise between $200,000 and $250,000. For more information on the historic Rockville Bridge and to make a donation, visit the town’s website here.