Some bridges are big enough to drive across. Some will carry your bike. And some are cobbled together and will barely hold you. But they all keep you out of the water. In the water can be kind of nice in the summer, but right now when its about 12 degrees out, out of the water is the way to go!
This first bridge you see at Hodges Village Dam is the Bailey Bridge. A bailey bridge is a pre-fabricated metal truss bridge. This was was built to carry heavy equipment during dam repair work in 1997-1999. After the work was done, the bridge was left in place.
Before the bridge was built the only two ways to cross the river at the dam were to wade through the water, or to cross on the dam itself.
The bridge you see at the top of my blog crosses a swampy place west of the railbed, just north of the dam. The current bridge is chained to trees and has stayed in place through many floods. The previous bridge at that spot was not anchored, and floated away every time the water was high.
About a year and a half ago, the Corps of Engineers replaced another bridge just north of the dam, on the other side of the railbed. The old bridge was not very sturdy, and often floated out of place. The new one has a metal base and is anchored to concrete blocks. Its been under water a few times, but has stayed in place.
There was an old bridge south of Greenbrier that everyone called the tippy bridge. Over the years it got more and more warped until you had to pick your way across, hopping over the gaps, and trying to stay upright where the bridge deck was slanted to about 45 degrees. (A challenge with a bike!) A year ago this past fall, it was finally removed, but hasn’t been replaced yet. Pieces of the old bridge are sitting next to the trail.
A couple of big dead trees were dropped to make a temporary crossing, but it’s better for feet than bikes.
There is another bridge near Greenbrier that is near a place where beavers like to hang out. Sometimes it’s high and dry, and sometimes the beavers pile up enough brush that the water comes right up to the deck.
The most transient bridge is the pallet bridge near the town wells. I don’t know who builds it, but it is not always the same. Sometimes it’s pretty stable, and sometimes it’s nonexistent.
But all the bridges offer the option of dry feet, and I’m grateful for that!