Rancher is looking forward to having a part of history on his land

A portion of the Long X Bridge was put up for adoption last year, as part of the Highway 85 expansion project.

KX News met the person who adopted it and found out what he intends to do with it.            

“First time I saw the bridge was back in ’67. . . never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that bridge would end up at my place someday,” said  Paul Silbernagel, Linton rancher.

The Long X Bridge was built in 1959, and Silbernagel who ranches, farms, and raises horses in Linton, said he will be adopting the 260-foot long Southern span of the bridge.

“It is the only bridge that I have come across that has enough span for the project we need,” said Silbernagel. 

The bridge is going to be used as a crossing for the Beaver Creek on Silbernagel’s land, and he hopes the bridge serves as an alternative to the flooding he experiences on this main road in the Springtime.

“If you see the roadway on top it(flooding) will be about six to eight feet above the roadway,” said Silbernagel.

He said flooding this year prevented him from getting access to his land for about four weeks.

“It really hinders when we can’t move product in and out of here from our farming operation, and this is the only access there is,” said Silbernagel.

Matt Linneman, NDDOT US 85 project manager, said about six people showed interest in adopting a portion of the Long X Bridge, but Silbernagel’s proposal had the best plan in place to use, preserve and maintain the bridge.

“That means getting and having a good spot. . . having a plan for putting back together and have a plan for what they are going to do with it into the future,” said Linneman.

The DOT will fund the disassembly, loading, and transport of the bridge up to 100 miles.

Silbernagel will be responsible for the remaining mileage and reassembly, but it could be awhile before it arrives on his land, because the new four lane bridge South of Watford has to be constructed first.

“Probably by the end of 2020 is the soonest we would expect Mr. Silberbagel would be able to ownership of his segment of the bridge,” said Linneman.

As part of the agreement, Silbernagel also has to preserve the bridge for a number years, but he’s looking forward to having a part of North Dakota’s history on his property.

“We want to share with the world. It’s a nice historical thing and that what I think people would like to see me do with it,” said Silbernagel.

The DOT would like to see construction start on the new bridge portion of the Highway 85 expansion project sometime this Summer.

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