wrought iron bridge
A Master Lock and a silver Sharpie, in the hands of a cruder Casanova, never could have caused a fair maiden to well up with tears and hyperventilate. But then Dennis, a Belton firefighter and paramedic, is no run-of-the-mill Romeo. He knew exactly the kind of memorable marriage proposal that would melt his honey’s heart.
But let’s back up.
Just before Valentine’s Day, the Kansas City Parks and Recreation Department began Red Bridge Love Locks, encouraging couples to “lock their love” on the old Red Bridge in Minor Park by snapping padlocks onto the wrought-iron railings. The purpose: to draw attention to the 80-year-old steel bridge in south Kansas City, and to the pioneer history that surrounds it.
Recently the city replaced the iconic bridge near Red Bridge and Holmes roadswith a new one, better suited to handle traffic over the Blue River. But instead of tearing down the original bridge, built in 1933 in what is now the Santa Fe Trail historic area, officials left it standing. Today it is more a piece of art, a pedestrian walkway.
When Dennis saw a TV news story about people putting locks on the bridge, he knew it was the perfect place to propose to the girl of his dreams, fellow Belton firefighter and paramedic Brandie Price.
The Raymore couple had known each other for three years, and the subject of marriage had come up.
But then Dennis, 31, was a sneaky sort. His 30-year-old girlfriend knew nothing about his intentions. In fact, he had purposely misled her, consistently making it seem he wasn’t quite ready.
Explained Dennis: “It’s no fun if she sees it coming!”
And she didn’t. He already had the ring. Now he had the place.
As for the time? Valentine’s Day marked the second anniversary of their first date. Perfect!
He bought a Master Lock and a silver Sharpie and set his plan in motion.
“On Valentine’s Day he had all kinds of surprises for me,” Price said. “When I got home from work that morning I found a dozen roses and a hundred-dollar bill inside of a card telling me to go buy a pretty dress for our date that night,” she said. “I didn’t know what our date was. He wouldn’t tell me. He’s good at those surprises.”
That day he came home early and surprised Price by taking her to the Culinary Center in Overland Park. They ate a six-course meal that included shrimp, short ribs, salad and strawberry tiramisu. After that they were going to pick up Price’s 11-year-old daughter, Abi, from Dennis’ father’s house and return home.
But not yet.
You see, Dennis knew something about his girlfriend that he would use to his advantage. She often fell asleep on car rides. And when she fell asleep on this car ride, he headed straight for the old Red Bridge.
She didn’t wake up until they pulled into Minor Park around 10 p.m.
“When I opened my eyes it was all dark outside, like we were in the middle of nowhere,” she said. “I had no idea where we were. When I asked where we were he took out his iPhone and pulled up the report that the TV station had done about locking your love on the bridge, and showed it to me.”
As they strolled toward the bridge in silence under a moonlit sky, Price couldn’t help but wonder what was going on. Then Dennis held out a gold box with a white ribbon that he had been hiding behind his back. He opened it to reveal a Master Lock with two keys. On the front of the lock he had engraved their initials, JD+BP, and the date, and traced over them with a silver Sharpie.
They picked out a spot together. “Go ahead,” he told her. “Put it on the bridge.”
“I thought it was the sweetest thing ever,” Price said. She hadn’t seen anything yet. As she pulled the lock out , he put his hand on top of hers.
“Turn it over,” he said with a gentle voice. She saw a two-word question: “Marry me?”
Price couldn’t believe what she was seeing. When she turned to look at her boyfriend, he was on his knees, holding out a ring.
“I knew it was a ring, but I didn’t even see it because my eyes welled up with tears and I started hyperventilating,” she said. “I was like, ‘Oh my gosh,’ and I couldn’t speak. And Jason was just laughing.”
“So I guess this is a yes, right?” he said. Price just started nodding. They hugged, and he put the ring on her finger.
“Then we put the lock on the bridge, and he had me write my answer on the lock with the Shapie,” Price said.
“Yes!” she scrawled.
Finally he pulled out the keys.
“This lock comes with two keys,” he said, gazing into her moistened eyes. “And the way I see it we have two choices. We can either each keep one of the keys, or we can decide that the lock is going to stay on here forever, and each of us can throw our key into the river.”
Those keys are now deep under water.
“He did a wonderful job!” she said. “I can’t imagine anything sweeter.”
Heidi Downer, a spokeswoman for the Kansas City Parks and Recreation department, is gratified that couples are taking to the new lock tradition.
“It’s kind of this international phenomenon,” she said. “From what I can gather, it started over in Europe and has made its way to the States. We are just excited that this tradition has begun in Kansas City, and we look forward to seeing more locks and symbols of love.
“And although we started this just before Valentine’s Day, this is something people can do year-round. It’s a great way to commemorate an anniversary or engagement, a wedding or whatever.”
The tradition even could make the Parks Department some money. A company called Lock-itz (lock-itz.com) which makes custom-crafted commemorative locks, is donating 15 percent of the proceeds to support Kansas City parks.
Any way you go, Downer said, the locking tradition is nothing but an upper for Kansas City.
“It’s adorable,” she said. “You can go fancy with engraved names on a customized Lock-itz lock, or you can take a Sharpie to a Master Lock.”
And what of Brandie and Jason?
While they haven’t set a date yet, they want to get married sometime this summer.
On the old Red Bridge, of course.
Source kansascity.com, Author: James A. Fussell
New paint job for historic viaduct
by Marc Johnson
One of Britain’s oldest railway bridges has been repainted as part of a £10 million renovation project. Pyeroy has completed a two-year £1.5 million refurbishment of the Ouseburn Railway Viaduct in Newcastle upon Tyne.
The viaduct, which towers 108 ft above the River Ouseburn, was built in 1839 using laminated timber before being replaced in 1869 with a nine-span structure featuring five central wrought iron arches.
Pyeroy worked alongside Carillion, who is the main contractor for the £10 million Network Rail project to strengthen and repair the Grade II viaduct, which carries the East Coast railway line over the Ouseburn Valley.
Repainting the viaduct required workers to grit blast all the ironwork on the 918 ft-long structure before final surface preparation and painting.
Brendan Fitzsimons, director of Pyeroy’s infrastructure services division, said: “This is another prestigious project demonstrating how we deliver cost effective solutions with unparalleled experience in bridge refurbishment.”
The Lobato Bridge
By Mike Rosso
The Lobato (Costilla Crossing) Bridge is the southernmost bridge over the Rio Grande River in Colorado. It sits on County Road G between Antonito and Jaroso, Colorado and was originally constructed in 1892 by Joseph F. Thomas.
He was a civil engineer and the Conejos County Surveyor and lived in Manassa, Co.. The bridge was purchased from the Wrought Iron Bridge Company of Canton, Ohio for the sum of $8,400. The bridge parts were shipped to Colorado by train and assembled on location.
Thomas received a commendation from the Colorado State Legislature for completing the construction ahead of schedule and under budget. At the time it was the longest, highest, double-span steel-truss bridge west of the Mississippi River.
Also known as the Old State Bridge, it has been listed on the National Registry of Historic Structures since 1985. The bridge stretches 313.9 feet long with a deck width of 15.7 feet.
The Wrought Iron Bridge Company was eventually consolidated by J.P. Morgan, the American corporate financier, into the American Bridge Company in 1900.
With the help of grants, the bridge was rehabilitated and rededicated in 2006. The Lobato Bridge is the oldest vehicular truss in southern Colorado.
Nature and industry collide in colour
The 62-year-old amateur photographer, from Burbage, captured the image from the footpath by the Grand Union Canal, near the King Power Stadium.
It is the latest entry in our Old and New photography contest.
Alan, who is retired, said: “I’d just bought a new Nikon 5100 and went for a walk early one Sunday morning to try it out when few people were around.
“I came across this scene thought it would make a great picture.”
The photo, taken six months ago, is actually three photographs, taken with different exposures, merged into one.
“It has the effect of making the foreground and background equally clear, seeing the scene as your eye would,” said Alan.
“I thought the contrast of nature and industry, decline and progress, all captured in the frame, worked.”
The closing date for entries is November 18, with £100 of Jessops vouchers up for grabs for the winner.
Royal Albert Revisited
by Clive Kessell
Linking Devon with Cornwall across the river Tamar, the single track Royal Albert Bridge is of strategic importance, being the only remaining mainline rail link into Cornwall. If it were to be out of action, then the Royal Duchy rail network would be cut off from the rest of the UK.
The bridge opened in 1859, the last great civil engineering project of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, and was constructed mainly of wrought iron. Modifications and strengthening was carried out by the GWR in the 1930s, primarily to replace or enhance the cross girders upon which the track is positioned using steel components. These had rendered some of the original Brunel girders redundant but they were kept in place to improve the rigidity of the structure.
Surveys had shown that, while the bridge was in generally good condition, some corrosion was present. A major refurbishment was scheduled, as reported last year by the rail engineer (issue 82, August 2011). This covers the central spans of the structure, including the removal of certain lower diagonals which were installed in the early seventies. One year on, it was time to visit the bridge again and see how work was progressing.
Various consultations had to be carried out before work could start. This was not only with English Heritage (the bridge is a Grade 1 listed structure) but also with the local communities since noise and potential damage from falling debris were perceived as real risks. With everyone onside, Network Rail and its principal contractor, Taziker Industrial (TI), could move forward with confidence.
Despite preconceptions, the bridge had been built to a restricted budget and the original plan for a double track railway had to be dropped on grounds of cost. The resultant single track bridge is therefore quite narrow which makes it more susceptible to side wind movement. Great care was needed to design an access system that did not worsen wind loading. The two main centre sections are linked to each shore by a number of approach spans, the ones on the Cornish side being on a sharp curve. The access system has thus to include these spans, much of which is over land rather than water.
to be continued