The small town of Rockville just outside of Zion National Park was the recent recipient of two grants by the National Trust for Historic Preservation via the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles foundation. The grants totaled $15,000 and will match locally procured funds that will help in the study, marketing and eventual restoration of the historic Rockville Bridge.
Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, said that towns like Rockville are helping other communities across the nation retain their unique sense of history.
“We are honored to provide a grant to Rockville, which will use the funds to help preserve an important piece of our shared national heritage,” Meeks said.
Residents of Rockville believe the historic bridge is a large part of that shared national heritage. The Rockville Bridge is on the National Registry of Historic Places and the only Parker truss bridge in the state of Utah.
“It deserves to be maintained,” said Rockville Town Council member Pam Leach. “It is the only bridge that the National Park Service ever built outside of a national park. It has a lot of history behind it. We would like to get people behind us and support us in maintaining the bridge.”
The National Trust Preservation funds grants that range from $2500 to $5000. The organization has funded $15 million in projects since 2003. Awarded to nonprofits and public agencies, these matching grants help support a diverse range of enterprises that include consultation services for the rehabilitation of buildings, technical assistance in promoting historic tourism resources as well as for the creation of materials in education and outreach programs.
The Historic Rockville Bridge was constructed in 1924 for the National Park Service. It crosses the East Fork of the Virgin River and for many years was the main link to Zion National Park. In the fall of 2012, Utah Department of Transportation reported that the Rockville Bridge had deteriorated significantly and would need to be rebuilt or be replaced. Studies on various proposals have been completed and work on the restoration of the Rockville Bridge is expected to begin in 2016.