Green River’s Wagon Bridge
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(Sweetwater County, Wyo. – November 25, 2020) Built in 1896, the Wagon Bridge in Green River was the only non-railway span across the entire 730-mile length of that waterway until 1910.
The Overland Stage Route, established in 1862, crossed the Green River at the Green River stage station ford at the current site of the Wyoming Game & Fish building on Astle Avenue and a ferry operated downstream, but in the late 19th century Sweetwater County and the town of Green River agreed to put up $2,000 apiece to finance construction of a bridge. (Later, the town assumed the burden of an additional $675 in building costs.) The bid was awarded to an Ohio firm: the Wrought Iron Bridge Company, and the bridge that resulted was a “single-lane, two-span, iron structure with a wooden deck and wooden through truss, re-enforced with iron rods.”
The bridge greatly improved freight traffic to and from Green River to points south, including the Henry’s Fork and Lucerne Valleys and the areas around Ashley and Burntfork. Beginning in 1913, the newly-established Lincoln Highway (U.S. Highway 30) passed through Green River and across the Wagon Bridge.
In 1922 the Wyoming Highway Department (now the Department of Transportation) constructed a new highway bridge across the Green River west of the town and the Lincoln Highway was rerouted to pass through town along North 1st Street (now Flaming Gorge Way) to the new structure.
The present Uinta Drive/Highway 530 bridge was built in 1951. The Wagon Bridge was demolished as unsafe in 1954, but its remains can still be seen from the north side of the river where South 5th East Street ends, across the water to the south side and the Greenbelt.