Sunday, April 30, 2006

The Old Swinging Bridge at Des Arc

Jim Bohannon

"In your younger days, did you ever cross the old swinging bridge across the White River at Des Arc?" If you did, I bet you would have remembered it!" Because, most likely, your under garments got a little soiled during the crossing. To use the a common term of today, "this bridge was awesome!"

I remember returning from a night football game at Stuttgart, circa 1956. I was part of a group of high school football players as passengers in a school bus. Crossing this bridge scared the "living daylights" out of me. I thought it was all over for us. What with all the shaking and creaking sounds coming from the cross planks/cables/wires/beams or whatever it was that seem to be holding the thing up, caused me to think the bus was headed for the dark abyss of the White River.

As if that wasn't bad enough, the bus meet a big truck while out on the bridge. The truck had to back down to an area where the school bus could squeeze by the truck. I think the bus scraped the side of the truck or vice versa. Anyway, we were all quite relieved when we finally made it across safely.

The bridge was replaced in 1970. And as I recall during those subsequent fourteen years, I never re-crossed it.

Thank goodness! Twice was enough to cross this bridge. My first and last time.



Blogger Tedi Kramer said...

It was an interesting bridge, but it cost my father his life, and the life of his friend as they drove across it one night in Sept. 1967. It should have been closed down long before it was because the traffic it was built for was not the kind of traffic that was using it. I wonder how many lost their lives on this bridge before it was closed.

10:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My father lost his life on this bridge in 1967. I have mixed emotions on the bridge being torn down. I love history and seeing how bridges were made long ago interests me, but it was very unsafe for our modern traffic, and I am glad that it cannot take another life.

8:45 AM  

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