Preserving history

Published 12:49 pm Wednesday, June 28, 2017

We commend the work of P.K. Pettus and The Clarkton Bridge Alliance in attempting to preserve the history of The Clarkton Bridge, a historical fixture that spans the Staunton River between Charlotte and Halifax counties.

According to county and state officials, the bridge — constructed in 1901 — is in a state of disrepair and has been deemed unsafe. The structure is likely to come down in the future, officials say.

Just because the bridge may be removed to keep those who navigate the Staunton River and those who may attempt to travel across the bridge from harm’s way, there’s no reason the history of the structure should be forgotten.

That’s where the hard work of the alliance is coming in.

According to Virginia Department of Transportation Resident Engineer Scot Shippee, options are being weighed to preserve pieces of the existing bridge.

“There will be some potential panels put up to illustrate the historical significance of (the bridge),” Shippee said. “I know that the Clarkton Bridge Alliance is working on doing some fundraising to potentially put some sort of pedestrian bridge up in the future in that area.”

The bridge was previously used as a link for walking, bicycling and horseback riding trails, according to the alliance.

According to Pettus, the alliance has “convinced VDOT that this very special historic place deserves a replacement pedestrian and bicycling bridge — one that will be owned and maintained by VDOT,” she said.

Though the bridge may be destroyed for the right reasons, its history and the memories that location brings for generations of people doesn’t have to be erased.

The alliance is seeking to make the place even more special and memorable through a structure that’s safe and reliable — one where more memories can be made for generations to come