Illinois Bridge Goes AWOL

FRIDAY, APRIL 18, 2014


He doesn't know where, when, why, how or by whom, but Greene County Sheriff Rob McMillen is sure of one thing.

Someone has made off with one of his bridges.

The 20-foot-long, 10-foot-wide iron and wood bridge disappeared sometime in March from Kane Township, IL, a town of fewer than 1,000 residents about 60 miles north of St. Louis, MO.

Authorities believe the bridge was removed intact from its location about three weeks ago. The government-owned bridge is used only infrequently by farmers to gain access to their properties, reports said.

A Break

Now, McMillen thinks he has a break in the case. Last week, he happened to notice a large pile of iron lying in a yard about eight miles from the bridge's former location, the Jacksonville (IL) Journal-Courier reported.

McMillen said the iron pieces were "heavy duty" and looked as if they were from a bridge, but he has not yet been able to confirm their source, the newspaper said.

The property owner where the pieces were found "is cooperating with authorities" and denies that the iron is from the missing bridge, the paper reported.

But Why?

Officials do not yet have a motive for the theft, but scrap metal of all kinds has been fetching some hefty prices in recent years. And Kane's thief or thieves are not the first to try to cash in on a hot bridge.

In October 2011, two brothers from western Pennsylvania dismantled a 40-ton steel bridge over several days and proceeded to sell it piece by piece for scrap.

By the time authorities caught up with Benjamin Arthur Jones, 24, and Alexander William Jones, 25, they had peddled about 31,000 pounds of the steel for just under $5,200.

The brothers were charged with multiple felonies, and the town was left holding a $100,000 bill for replacement.

   

Tagged categories: Bridges; Cast iron; Laws and litigation; Program/Project Management; Steel; Wood

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