Archive for Friday, March 23, 2012

40 years ago: Kansas River bridge cause for concern, says citizen

March 23, 2012


From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for March 23, 1972:

A peek at today's Letters to the Editor showed that area residents were concerned about a range of local topics. Mrs. D. A. Wilson of North Lawrence objected to the use of funds to "beautify" the north entrance into the city by creating parks at each end of the Kaw River bridge. "I wonder how they think tourists could enjoy or even look at the parks, as rough and beat-up as the bridge is," wrote Mrs. Wilson. "It is dangerous to walk across the bridge anymore.... The curbing is broken all along, and in some places there are breaks that almost reach the center of the sidewalk." Old West Lawrence resident Mrs. Donna Martin's letter began, "One recent morning we found paper cartons in our milkbox instead of the half-gallon glass bottles we had ordered. I called the dairy and was told they were temporarily out of glass bottles.... In calling around town I found that not a glass milk bottle is to be found in Lawrence." Mrs. Martin went on to defend the use of glass milk bottles, mostly for ecological reasons but also because "they keep milk colder [and] they are not prone to dripping in the refrigerator."


Ron Holzwarth 6 years ago

Oh yes, they did complain about that old bridge so much, claiming it was unsafe, but there was a big surprise coming that I remember very well. Quite a few people got a good laugh about it at the time!

The contractor began to demolish the old bridge, and very quickly a big problem became very obvious. It was a whole lot stronger than anyone had thought, and withstood the wrecking ball so well, refusing to collapse, that there was a significant delay in removing it. The contractor had to ask for an extension in the time allowed to complete the project, because that old bridge was a whole lot stronger than anyone had dreamed.

While they were determinedly slamming that old bridge with the wrecking ball a lot of people commented that it should have been refurbished and used for the northbound bridge, instead of removing it and building a whole new one.

I'm not really convinced that the one there now is as strong as that old one was.

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