Browns Park National Wildlife Refuge staff discovered a tractor stuck on Swinging Bridge Wednesday, partially plunged through the middle of the overpass.
The back tires of the tractor crashed through the base of the bridge, so the vehicle is now stuck in the middle of the landmark structure with no set time for removal.
Joel Colvin, biological science technician for Browns Park, said the bridge is shut down until the tractor is removed.
“There’s a tractor stuck on the bridge so it’s closed at this time,” he said.
The owner of the tractor is rancher T. Wright Dickinson — a former Moffat County commissioner. It will be up to him to get the vehicle removed.
“We are making the owner remove it. We have people on site, but we are not going to be removing it ourselves,” said Linda DeRose, manager of the Moffat County Road and Bridge Department.
While the county will supervise the removal of the tractor, to make sure no further damage is done to the bridge, they will not pay for it, DeRose said.
“It’s kind of a hazardous situation at the moment, as far as getting it off the bridge and everything,” she said. “We’re not willing to pay to hire someone to remove it.”
The county hasn’t had an opportunity to evaluate the full extent of the damage, DeRose said.
“We’ll probably have to have an engineer look at it,” she added.
DeRose said she couldn't understand why someone would try to drive the tractor across the bridge since the structure was posted as only being able to hold three tons and the tractor is significantly heavier.
People who want to cross the river will need to drive another 10 miles west and use the Bridge Hollow crossing. While it will only add about 30 miles to the trip, the roads are rough so travelers should anticipate adding an additional one to two hours travel time.
Contact Erin Fenner at 970-875-1794 or efenner@CraigDailyPress.com.