SCOTT COUNTY, VA - An ongoing effort to replace a beloved Scott County swinging bridge is running out of time. The Slant swinging bridge was destroyed in a major storm two years ago. Important to area recreation and considered county heritage, neighbors are working to rebuild.
Lori Mellons lives across the street from where the bridge used to like. She frequently goes down to where the swinging bridge used to cross the Clinch River.
"I come down here and sit a lot, fish a lot, and it's a lot of memories," Mellons said.
Its destruction and absence leaves a conspicuous void in the small town.
"I run into people when I come down here and sit, putting boats in, and something and every one of them asks, are we going to get the bridge back?" Lori said. "Are we going to get the bridge back?"
There is hope. If the county can raise $62,500, the Virginia Department of Transportation agreed to match the amount for a total of $125,000.
The Scott County director of tourism, Pam Cox, said this swinging bridge a part of Scott County Tradition.
"So many people still find that as a long lost- it's iconic for a county to even have swinging bridges," Cox said.
But efforts are coming up short with a June deadline looming. Mellons is searching for an organization with a 501(c)(3) to partner with and funnel money through, so that companies can write off donations.
"It's hard to get large donations from companies and foundations and organizations if they can't write those off," Mellons said.
All to save the bridge she refuses to give up on.
"Its not going to be a lost cause," Mellons said. "I refuse to accept that."
More information can be found at the Save Our Swinging Bridge Facebook page, and donations can be sent on the GoFundMe page or to Slant Swinging Bridge PO Box 1263, Gate City, VA 24251. Mellons can be reached at (276) 690-6682.
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