The George S. and Dolores Dore Eccles Foundation recently pledged the Town of Rockville a last grant of $75,000 towards the preservation of the Rockville Bridge. Bearing unique historical, technical, and technological significance, it is the last Parker through-truss bridge in the state.
“Our directors look forward to joining with the many area citizens, along with the state and federal governmental entities, in the funding partnership that is making possible the rehabilitation of this historic bridge,” the foundation said in a statement. “We admire your local community members for their commitment to maintaining Rockville as an agrarian ‘small town,’ and to protecting this landmark bridge, which still serves an important purpose in providing access within areas of your community and to historic Grafton, Utah. We hope our last dollar pledge will convey to others our belief in the value of this project, and that it will be helpful to you in securing additional gifts and grants needed from other individuals, companies, and foundations.”
Rockville has successfully raised much of the funds required to match ($243,685 of $469,250) a federal grant to complete the restoration of the bridge. This includes individual donations (over 97 percent of Rockville citizens have given), additional grants from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Simmons Family Foundation, and a variety of special events, all planned by the Historic Bridge Fundraising Committee. The state showed its support by joining in the preservation of this historic Bridge with the $100,000 appropriation.
The Rockville Bridge was built in 1924 with federal funding to Zion National Park to provide a transportation link between national parks in Utah and Arizona. This 217-foot steel bridge was placed on the National Registry of Historic Places in 1995. The bridge has served visitors and residents of Rockville and Zion Canyon for over 90 years and has many years of life left. It was recently featured in a Utah Humanities Council Beehive Archive radio segment, found in their collection at utahhumanities.org/stories.
Today, Rockville is a town of only 247 residents, and the town remains primarily a residential and agricultural community. Restoration was the favored choice of community members.
Fundraising efforts continue, with a goal of $202,550, to ensure the preservation of the bridge. Donations can be made to the Town of Rockville, 43 E Main St., Rockville, UT 84763 or online at rockvilleutah.org.