Skip to main content

Ghost Town Tuesday; Utah State Route 128, Dewey, and the Old Dewey Bridge

Back in 2015 I was visiting Moab, Utah for some hiking.  On my way out of town I was heading eastward into Colorado.  Conventional fair travel would have me on US Route 191 north to I-70 east into Colorado.  I was in the mood for something a little more remote and took Utah State Route 128 from Moab along the Colorado River through the Dewey ghost town to I-70.


UT 128 is a 44.56 mile State Highway located entirely in Grand County running eastward from US 191 to I-70 near the ghost town of Cisco.  UT 128 largely follows the narrow canyons of the Colorado River before splitting away towards Old US 50/6 near Cisco to I-70.  UT 128 is often cited to dating back to being created in 1933, the highway can be seen on this 1950 Utah State Highway Map.

1950 State Highway Map

Heading east from Moab UT 128 follows the south bank of the Colorado River.  The Fisher Towers can be seen from UT 128 at the junction of Fisher Towers Road.  The Fisher Towers is formation of several large sandstone columns with the largest being the "Titan" at approximately 900 feet high.


At UT 128 mile marker 30 the highway crosses to the north bank of the Colorado River at the former town site Dewey which was first occupied in the 1880s as ferry crossing.


Next to the modern crossing the Old Dewey Bridge which was completed in 1916.  The Old Dewey Bridge is identical to the Cameron Bridge (albeit shorter) which used to carry US Route 89 over the Little Colorado River in Arizona.  At the time of it's completion the Old Dewey Bridge was the second longest suspension bridge in the western United States after the Cameron Bridge.

The Old Dewey Bridge was replaced by the modern span in 1988.  In 2000 the Old Dewey Bridge was restored but it was burned down accidentally by a child in 2008.  Despite the wooden road deck of the Old Dewey Bridge being burned the cables and suspension span still remain floating over the Colorado River.




Today there isn't much left of Dewey aside from a derelict gas station off to the side of UT 128.


East of Dewey the route of UT 128 swings north towards Cisco and Old US 50/6 just to the west of the Cisco ghost town.  UT 128 swings briefly westward on Old US 50/6 to I-70 Exit 204.  Previously I wrote about Old US 50/6 and the Cisco ghost town which can be found here:

Ghost Town Tuesday; Cisco, UT and Old US 50/6

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Onion Valley Road; former California State Route 180 to Kearsarge Pass

This summer I had an opportunity to drive one of the lesser known great roads of California; Onion Valley Road from Independence west to Onion Valley near Kearsarge Pass.  Aside from being massive climb into the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains the path of Onion Valley Road was once signed as California State Route 180 and was intended to be part of a Trans-Sierra Highway.


Onion Valley Road is located west of Independence of Inyo County and is 12.9 miles in length.  According to pjammcycling.com Onion Valley Road begins at an elevation of 3,946 feet above sea level in Independence and terminates at 9,219 feet above sea level at Onion Valley.  Pjammcycling rates Onion Valley Road with an average gradient of 7.8% and lists it as the 6th most difficult cycling climb in the United States.  Onion Valley Road also includes ten switchbacks which largely follow the course of Independence Creek.  Anyway you look at it the route of Onion Valley Road is no joke and is definitely a test of driving…

Trans-Sierra Highways; California State Route 4 over Pacific Grade Summit and Ebbetts Pass

Back in late October of 2016 I had a long weekend off which coincided with a warm weekend in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.  That being the case the winder in the weather gave me a chance to finish some additional Trans-Sierra Highways starting with California State Route 4 over Pacific Grade Summit and Ebbetts Pass.  I would later return to Pacific Grade Summit and Ebbetts Pass during the smoke filled summer of 2020. 

California State Route 4 ("CA 4") contains probably most infamous Trans-Sierra State Highway in Caltrans Inventory.  CA 4 from CA 207 in Bear Valley east over Pacific Grade Summit and Ebbetts Pass includes approximately 30 miles of one-lane highway which reaches gradients as steep as 24%. 
CA 4 is a 192 mile State Highway which originates at I-80 near Hercules of the San Francisco Bay Area and terminates at CA 89 in the remote Sierra Nevada Mountains of Alpine County.  CA 4 is probably the most diverse State Highway in California as it has; several freeway segme…

Horseshoe Meadows Road; former California State Route 190 and the legacy of the Lone Pine-Porterville HIgh Sierra Road

This summer I had an opportunity to drive one of the lesser known great roads of California; Horseshoe Meadows Road from Whitney Portal Road westward into Horseshoe Meadows of the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains.  Aside from being massive climb into the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains the path of Horseshoe Meadows Road was once part of California State Route 190 and was intended to be part of a Trans-Sierra Highway known as the Lone Pine-Porterville High Sierra Road.


Horseshoe Meadows Road is located west of Lone Pine of Inyo County and is 19.7 miles in length.  Horseshoe Meadows Road begins at an approximate elevation of 4,500 feet above sea level at Whitney Portal Road in the Alabama Hills and ends at an elevation of 10,072 feet above sea level in Horseshoe Meadows.  Horseshoe Meadows Road is the second highest paved road in California only behind Rock Creek Road near Tom's Place.  Pjammcycling rates Horseshoe Meadows Road with an average gradient of 6.2% and lists it as th…