Arboretum bridge condemned in 2009 rebuilt with community's help

EUGENE, Ore. - Volunteers from the Marine Corps Reservies used glue-laminated beams meant to support the roof of an ice rink to build a 100-foot bridge across a pond in the Mount Pisgah Arboretum at Howard Buford Recreation Area in 1983.

The bridge was dedicated in honor of Vern Adkison, the first director of the Lane Regional Air Protection Agency.

But the materials used to build the bridge were never meant to be used outside.

The bridge was condemned in 2009.

"I called the Marines, and it turns out they don't do this sort of thing anymore," said Brad van Appel, exectuive director at the Arboretum. "So we called on the community, and it turns out they still do.

"We just want to thank the community for helping."

Over the next 4 years, cash and in-kind donations of $150,000 and 2,000 volunteer hours helped rebuild the bridge.

The arboretum dedicated the new bridge Thursday.

Cash and in-kind donations totaled $150,000 and more than 2,000 volunteer hours helped rebuild the 30-year-old, 100-foot-long Adkison Bridge.

The bridge recently re-opened to the public, and a dedication ceremony on March 20 will honor all those who helped make it possible.

The community and media are invited to attend.

The Adkison Bridge is part of the Arboretum's popular Water Garden trail network. It serves as a gathering place for visitors and participants in the Arboretum's educational programs, including the more than 3,000 school children who take part each year in guided field trips.

The bridge is good place to observe western pond turtles, waterfowl and the plant life that comprise the wetland ecosystem.