Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Ludlow Creek Bridge

On the way to our house there is a little bridge going over Ludlow Creek. We live along the Ludlow Creek State Forest in the town of Smithville in upstate New York. The creek runs from Lake Ludlow in the town of McDonough to our little bridge and on to Oxford. The Fingerlakes Trail is alongside the creek for a ways. Not far from our house along the creek is a waterfall and a lean-to built by the Department of Conservation for the Fingerlakes Trail. Hikers stop there and can spend the night if they want right along Ludlow Creek.

The road to my house is barely a road. It is a dirt trail through the state forest. It is a maintained road and is plowed in the winter and the sides of it are mowed in the summer. Our local highway department, after many years of speeding across our little bridge with the snow plow, had ruined the bridge. Now it is being repaired by the county highway department. They are the ones who maintain the bridge. I hear there was trouble between the two highway departments over this little bridge.

So the county highway is going to be working on the bridge. They closed it on May 17th and put up a sign to let people know it would be closed. It is a real  imposition to have this bridge out of use. It makes us have to drive miles out of the way to get where we need to go. It has made it so our mail carrier cannot deliver our mail and we have to pick it up at our post office. I didn't realize how much I needed that little bridge until it was not there. My father-in-law came to visit and he scooted across one of the beams along the side of the bridge! It is up pretty high and I'd be scared to do that myself. and he is 91 years old. Him and my brother-in-law did not want to drive around the circle. So they left their vehicle on the other side of the bridge and walked across the bridge and up to the house.

The county road crew tore the bridge apart and worked on it, maybe two days. Now it is sitting there day after day not being fixed and not able to be used. So I am hoping they remember they took it apart and maybe get back to work on it. It is not like it is never used or only by us. There is a constant amount of traffic lately that comes down Ludlow Road from Lake Ludlow. Then they have to either turn around and go back, or take the long way around, which is past our house on the way toward Oxford.

 You know these little bridges are pretty important when you drive over one every day and then all of a sudden you can't. I am thankful though, that it is being repaired and not just closed down. We need it and it gives our little road character! I for one............miss it!

The barrier is meant to keep people out. I think it has instead made more people stop and get out to look around the bridge and see what is going on. The sign is lit at night and it is a good thing for that. We have many four wheelers on our road at night that used to cross this little bridge. I hope it will be worked on next week at least.

Copyright © 2010 Kathleen G. Lupole
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