Archive for Thursday, September 25, 2003

Bridge finds home at Pebblebrooke

September 25, 2003

Stella Standish woke up Wednesday alert and ready to walk the trail around her neighborhood at the Pebblebrooke retirement community in Basehor.

"I wanted to see this instead," Standish said as the newest addition to Pebblebrooke was nestled into place. "I'll make sure to get it in this evening, though. I can go around the whole (trail) now."

Catching the attention of Standish and a handful of other Pebblebrooke residents Wednesday, Sept. 24 was a large crane, and more importantly, the three-ton, 48-foot long bridge braced underneath it.

The arched, all-steel bridge, approximately six feet wide with oak planks, was fixed into place Wednesday morning. The bridge also features 12 laser-cut tree emblems.

A drainage ditch separated part of the Pebblebrooke walking trail, near 155th Street on the backside of the development.

That was Tuesday. On Wednesday, north met south and the walking trail merged via the as-yet unnamed bridge. Residents were delighted to see their development's newest eye-appealing amenity.

"It certainly is a project and it's just beautiful," Pebblebrooke resident Virginia Harrison said. "I think so many people have been interested in that bridge and now they can just (walk) around and around."

Construction of the bridge began approximately 10 months ago, said John Bonee, owner of the Pebblebrooke retirement community. Jack Brock, a Basehor resident, was the principal builder of the bridge.

Jack Mathia, an employee of Bonee Construction, assisted with the bridge's construction.

The project represented different goals for the bridge building duo -- for Bonee it meant improving Pebblebrooke, already a highly regarded city development, even further.

For Brock, who's spent a lifetime designing and building construction projects, the undertaking was a return to roots. Brock grew up helping construct buildings in his hometown.

Although the project meant different things to each of them, the tandem had a common goal in building the bridge -- both wanted the finished product to be not only an attractive addition to Pebblebrooke, but to the city as well.

"We just didn't want to do it halfway," Bonee said. "As big of a structure as it is and with as much visibility as it's going to receive, it needed to be nice."

Bonee and Brock targeted this week -- Homecoming week -- for the bridge's unveiling. After time, the pair hopes their project will be looked upon as a city landmark.

"I kind of think it will," Bonee said. "I'm sure it will be a piece of conversation for a while."

Almost as soon as this bridge is completed, another is being planned for Pebblebrooke.

Bonee and Brock will team together for a smaller bridge in future months. The second bridge will be 20 feet long and weigh 2,000 pounds.

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