This is the story of how temporary bridges saved a marriage, and how they have solved a lot of other problems for construction contractors, utility companies, ranchers and farmers, and others. We will get to the wedding in a moment; but to understand how they contributed to wedded bliss, lets understand what they are.
Of course, the term is self-explanatory: a span that is erected to serve its function for a period of time and then be taken down. However, we are not talking about a slap-dash invention. We are discussing a professionally-erected device designed by engineers and constructed out of permanent materials. It is simply the use that is temporary. Often, people who see them and use them do not know that they are impermanent.
Companies that specialize in designing and building bridges often include the rental of temporary spans in their list of services. It makes sense that they would; it also makes sense that such a firm would be the first place to go if you are in need of something to get people and equipment from point “A” to point “C”, but obstruction “B” is in the way. We should also mention animals. Many a temporary bridge has been erected for a rancher to get cattle across an arroyo that filled with water in a heavy rainy season.
Temporary bridges are so sturdy that companies and organizations rent them year after year. Consider the rancher: thousands of pounds of cattle moving across at the same time put on a lot of stress. And it is commonplace to have a temporary crossing for construction, oil fields or farm equipment weighing tons. The fact that this kind of usage is common speaks not only to the permanence of the materials used, but also to the effectiveness of the engineering of the device and the planning for the approach to and egress from a short-term bridge. They are solidly-anchored in place and can take the repeated traffic on the crossing as well as on either side.
They have been put up on the routes of bike and BMX races; cross country foot races and marathons; and automobile and truck off-road rallies. They are used on planned events, such as construction sites and in emergencies, such as the wedding we mentioned.
We havent forgotten to tell you about the wedding. But before we relate the happy story, we should also point out that temporary bridges are generally delivered already assembled or partially assembled, having been tailored to specific needs and locations. They are an equipment rental available for longer and shorter time spans.
At last, here is the story of how a temporary bridge saved a marriage. The bride chose an outdoor wedding, on a bluff overlooking the valley in which her family had lived for generations. The guests were to park and walk a short distance to the bluff. It was a summer wedding, normally the dry season. You guessed it: the season had been unusually rainy. There had been so much rain that there was standing water between the bluff and the parking area. The bride was beside herself!
A temporary bridge came to the rescue. It did not require an engineering marvel, simply a self-supporting structure that was long enough to span the water, as well as enough of the ground on either side so that no one got mud on their best footwear. The bride loved the idea of it so much that she asked for two of them. Family members even decorated the railings with the flowers and ribbon that matched the dcor of the wedding. Sure enough: it saved a marriage ceremony.