Ferndbridge was built in 1911, and at the time it was the largest concrete bridge in the world. Over the next 95 years, numerous drivers have found it a bit narrow to navigate and found themselves running into the concrete railings. One such incident late last year made it obvious that maybe the concrete wasn’t as strong as it used to be when one truck completely took out several sections of rail. So even though all the battle scars gave the bridge more character, Cal-Trans decided it was time to replace all the pillars before some unlucky driver got up close and personal with the Eel River below. They offered the old pillars to the community, and several can already be seen in various gardens around town. So on my way back to town with an empty trailer from a dump run, I decided to pick up my own bit of Fernbridge memorabilia.
I thought that they were loaded pretty evenly in the trailer, but at home I had a real hard time getting the hitch to separate from the ball. Finally using a crow bar and a hammer, I was able to pop it off, at which point I discovered the problem. I’m still not sure exactly where they’re going to go in the garden, but they might become a bench, or an entryway, who knows. It just felt good to save a bit of this historic bridge that is so loved by everyone living in Ferndale.
Update: In 2019, after spending 13 years cluttering up our yard, they were finally placed in the back yard to create a bench to sit on back by the creek.