With a team of pint-sized contractors-for-a-day, a whirr of a drone motor and blessedly short speeches by dignitaries on a bright sunny day, Cambria’s Main Street Bridge across Santa Rosa Creek was officially dedicated Friday, Jan. 9.
The new 150-foot-long, gently curving bridge replaced a 1922 structure. As the county’s town criers, Bev and Jerry Praver of Cambria, declaimed in their rhyming patter, supervisors decided it was time to “terminate the tenure of the trembling trestle” that had been deemed too old and too narrow.
The $3.5 million project had been in the planning, permit and construction stages for about 15 years.
The ceremony included 11 pre-kindergarten students, bridge designers and the requisite officials from Souza Construction and its subcontractors, plus county and local government.
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The event included some thoughtful touches: Cori Marsalek, the county’s manager on the project, brought tiny yellow hard hats, juice boxes and
bubble-blowing kits to keep the tots occupied during the ceremony. Marsalek and Ann Flynn (wife of Dave Flynn, the county’s deputy Public Works director) provided homemade cookies, including orange-frosted replicas of construction trucks.
But the hit of the day was a camera-toting drone controlled by quad-copter operator Jason Rath, who was also an inspector on the bridge construction. The drone glided overhead, snapping pictures of the new structure and the ceremony.
The first vehicle over the newly dedicated bridge carried longtime Curti Creek Road residents Jack and Jane Gibson, parents of county Supervisor Bruce Gibson, who escorted the couple on foot across the span.